The University of Delaware has withdrawn an invitation to Asaf Romirowsky, an Israeli Defense Force veteran and graduate student at Kings College in London , to participate in panel discussion panel on the subject of anti-Americanism in the Middle East. UD political science professor Muqtedar Khan, who was also included on the panel, is reported to have objected to appearing publicly with a former IDF soldier.
According to The Bulletin, Khan complained, “I am … not sure how I feel about being on the same panel with an Israeli soldier who was stationed in West Bank. Some people see IDF as an occupying force in the West Bank. I am not sure that I will be comfortable occupying the same space with him.”
In Israel, military service is usually mandatory. Thus, as Romirowsky notes, Khan’s objection to sharing a forum with a member of the IDF would likely eliminate his appearing with most Israeli scholars. “At this point there’s a larger issue,” adds Romirowsky. “This is a symptom of the problem [in the universities] we have been dealing with all along” i.e., anti-Western bias in university Middle East studies programs.
Could Khan’s aversion to appearing with Romirowsky have something to do with Romirowsky’s highlighting of the ties Khan has had over the years to groups allegedly affiliated with Islamic terrorists?