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Kent State prof shouts ‘Death to Israel’ at former diplomat

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(JTA) – A Kent State University professor shouted “Death to Israel” at a lecture given by a former Israeli diplomat.

Ishmael Khaldi, the former deputy consul general at the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco, was confronted by Professor Julio Pino during a question-and-answer session following Khaldi’s speech on Tuesday, according to Kent Wired, a student publication. Khaldi was speaking about his life as a Bedouin in Israel who rose through the ranks of the Foreign Ministry, as well as Middle East issues.

Pino, a convert to Islam and a tenured professor, asked Khaldi how the Israeli government could justify providing aid to countries like Turkey with “blood money” from the deaths of Palestinian children. After briefly arguing with Khaldi, Pino left the auditorium shouting “Death to Israel.” An audience member responded by shouting “Shame on you” after him.

Pino has courted controversy for years, writing an opinion column in 2002 in which he praised a suicide bomber. In 2007 he was accused of running the blog Global War, which bills itself as “a jihadist news service.” Pino refused to discuss the allegations, describing it as a freedom of speech issue.

After Pino’s departure, Khaldi answered more questions, but also addressed the incident. He called for respect in discussion and suggested that people are misunderstanding the situation in Israel.

“Is this what the professor is telling you?" Khaldi asked. "It is my responsibility to tell the truth and build relationships.”

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