(JNS.org) Hillel International responded to growing criticism over a visit by Harvard University students on a Hillel-sponsored tour of Israel to former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s grave near Ramallah.

Blogger Daniel Mael first revealed the visit to Arafat’s grave by the Harvard students as part of the “Harvard College Israel Trek 2014” on TruthRevolt.org. According to the trip’s website, it “aims to engage a diverse cohort of undergraduate student leaders of all faiths and backgrounds with Israeli history, culture, and politics.” Israel Trek is sponsored by Boston’s Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) and Harvard Hillel.

In a statement, David Eden, chief administration officer at Hillel International, admitted that the visit to Arafat’s grave is “causing understandable concern,” adding that the image conveyed by that visit is “not what this trip is about.”