As a third-year law student at George Washington University prepared to speak last week at a meeting calling for divestment from Israel, the school’s Hillel sent out an e-mail to students claiming that the Palestinian student is "considered a terrorist by the State of Israel."
Fadi Kiblawi, 24, has denied the charge and other claims in the e-mail, such as its contention that he advocates the destruction of Israel, has spoken of becoming a suicide bomber and led chants calling for "death to the Jews."
"None of the demonstrations I have ever led or been involved in have comprised anti-Semitism or support of terrorism," Kiblawi wrote in an e-mail interview. "I have never endorsed suicide bombings, rather have repeatedly and openly condemned such acts. … What I personally believe in is that Jews and Palestinians both have claims to the land, and therefore should live together in one state as equals."
Bob Turk, the eastern regional director of the Jewish Defense League, insisted that he heard Kiblawi speak at a divestment conference a month ago in which he spoke of a "Palestine from the river to the sea, which means eliminating the State of Israel."
Kiblawi said he has been ìlibeledî by the Hillel at the Washington, D.C., university and that its refusal to repudiate its e-mail message has left him to "seek other means to exonerate myself of this horrible defamation that has sullied my reputation."