Our View: Misrepresentation at its worst

DKS Editors

Shouting “Death to Israel” in a crowded room is normally an ill-advised idea. When the room in question was host to an Israeli speaker, it’s an even worse idea. When you’re a professional representative of a well-regarded university, you’ve made a grave error.

During a speech by Israeli diplomat Ishmael Khaldi in Bowman Hall last week, Julio Pino, associate professor of history, stormed out of the room while shouting “Death to Israel!” This outburst followed a lengthy and heated discussion between Khaldi and Pino, regarding the latter’s misgivings and grievances against the Hebrew state.


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Not only was this disturbance very unfair to the students and faculty who had come to the speech to listen and learn, it was extremely unprofessional of Pino to express such volatile and incendiary speech in a public forum.

As a university with a diverse student body and a tolerant outlook on global politics, Kent State could suffer a diminished reputation as a result of this incident. The rash actions of one faculty member can have a lasting negative impact on the way the nation, or even the world, perceives our school. Pino’s outburst could even affect which guest speakers will agree to visit Kent State in the future.

It’s vital to understand that the same would be true whether the statement were made about Palestine or any other country. Individuals are free to support either side of the issue they wish. However, professors such as Pino are expected to represent the university in a positive way, and extremist statements made during an educational speech on the topic of Middle-Eastern national relations is a poor way to go about it.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.