By Daniel Mael | Watchdog.org
Kent State University associate professor Julio Pino told Watchdog.org Jews and Israel can expect Allah to exact a “painful punishment,” for their disbelief.
Watchdog this week pressed the taxpayer-funded history professor to own up to and elaborate on his open letter to Israeli academics calling for a jihad on Israel, a regime, according to Pino, “that is the spiritual heir to Nazism.”
“Open Letter to Child in Gaza,” provided exclusively to Watchdog, earned Pino an unsigned condemnation posted Aug. 4 on the Kent State University website. You can read the text of the condemnation here.
When asked for further comment on Pino’s open letter, Kent State spokesman Bob Burford told Watchdog, “That is all we have to release at this time.”
Kent State University is a public university that benefits from more than $137 million in state appropriations.
Pino this week told Watchdog he “stands by every word of my original statement.”
“The international reach of my humble comments is proof that the Palestinian people do not stand alone, and that Israel is becoming more isolated by the hour,” Pino told Watchdog. “Woe to those who build their empires on war machines and American tax money! Israel delendum est, and it will drag America down with her.
“The world has been split in half between belief and disbelief, in justice, peace, and equality, and for those who disbelief there shall be a painful punishment.”
This painful punishment will be meted out, Pino said, by “Allah, the most merciful, most forgiving.”
“Naturally, at times he uses human instruments to carry out his commands,” he said.
Campus pro-Israel leaders and organizations have been quick to condemn Pino and are fearful about the situation on campus for Jewish students.
“Professor Pino’s hateful comments should raise serious concerns with the Kent State administration about his ability to effectively educate all students, including those who support Israel,” said Tammi Benjamin, head of the AMCHA Initiative, a national organization fighting anti-Semitism on college campuses.
“How could a pro-Israel Jewish student possibly feel comfortable in Pino’s class, knowing that her professor has explicitly called for the destruction of the Jewish state and wishes her and her co-religionists to suffer painful punishment from Allah?” Benjamin asked.
Aviva Slomich, director of the campus branch of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, said, “At University, our students are supposed to feel that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Julio Pino’s threats towards pro-Israel students and faculty counter these feelings and must be met with serious disciplinary action.”
“The campus community can contribute meaningfully to peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but this sort of repulsive rhetoric is divisive and tears apart the campus,” Jacob Baime, executive director of the Israel on Campus Coalition told Watchdog. “If you want to be part of the solution, you have to bring together people of different beliefs and faiths.”
In his open letter, Pino attacked America’s relationship with Israel.
“At home I am accused of stirring hatred, promoting terrorism and maliciously accusing those who seek to harm you,” Pino wrote. “My anger is only for the Evil Minded, and my sole purpose is to enrage the Good Ones of these United States to assemble in order to save you. We are the majority on this planet, not the earth-scorchers. We will protect you. We will avenge you, and our revenge will be your smile on the first day of freedom for Palestine.”
Pino has been making incendiary statements against Israel and for Palestine for years.
“In 2002, Pino published a eulogy in the campus paper praising Palestinian terrorist Ayat al-Akras, who murdered two Israelis, Rachel Levy and Chaim Smadar,” and “Pino has been accused of having ties to terrorists and had his home raided in 2009 by the U.S. Secret Service,” according to the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.
During an Oct. 25, 2011 campus event, featuring Ishmael Khaldi, the first Bedouin to serve in Israel’s Foreign Service, Pino got into a heated exchange with the diplomat that resulted in the history professor storming out of the lecture shouting “Death to Israel!”