There is growing confusion concerning recent actions that involved a discussion panel at the university on Oct. 24.
Lara Rausch, president of the College Republicans, said the group hosted various events as part of Terrorism Awareness Week. One event that occurred on Oct. 24 was a panel titled "Understanding Anti-Americanism in the Middle East," co-sponsored by the College Democrats, Students of Western Civilizations and the Muslim Student Association.
Political science professor Muqtedar Khan was invited to speak at the panel, but after learning Israeli Defense Force veteran Asaf Romirowsky would also be speaking, he sent an e-mail message to Rausch explaining he was hesitant to appear with Romirowsky.
Khan said he never approached university officials with his concerns and instead directed his response to the College Republicans.
"I never e-mailed the university," he said. "They were never involved."
Khan said he e-mailed Rausch when he first received an e-mail message from her concerning the panel.
"Mr. Romirowsky was confirmed the night before the event," Rausch said. "I sent out an e-mail [message] to our three confirmed speakers about Mr. Romirowsky's confirmation and final details about the panel, when Dr. Kahn replied back to be with his e-mail [message]."
"I am also not sure how I feel about being on the same panel with an Israeli soldier who was stationed in West Bank," Kahn stated in his e-mail message. "I am not sure that I will be comfortable occupying the same space as him. It is not fair to spring this surprise on me at the last moment."
After Kahn's e-mail, Romirowsky's invitation to the panel was rescinded.
Romirowsky, a research fellow at the Middle East Forum in Philadelphia, said he believes it was an act of intolerance that his invitation was withdrawn.
"The panel is trying to show a wide range of opinions from all walks of life," he said. "It's important to hear what all people have to say. It just makes sense to me."
Kahn said he was not against debating with people of opposing views, but needed more time to prepare for such a situation.
"I have no problems in debating," he said. "I would just need time to adjust my lecture and topic depending on who the people were on the panel, and I didn't have time to do so."
Romirowsky said the topic being discussed was broad enough for anyone to respond to what he had to say.
"Who's to say I was even going to discuss Israeli-Palestine relations?" he said.
Kahn said he is receiving criticism for his hesitation and said his actions are being misconstrued.
Romirowsky reiterated that every Israeli citizen must serve in the Israeli Defense Force a minimum of two years.
"The decision to withdraw my invitation is objectively based on the fact that I served in the IDF," he said. "Service in the IDF is mandatory and it is important to note that it is regardless of your own politics."
Kahn said he was not aware of the mandatory service.
"I did not know that at the time," he said. "And, I don't know whether or not he is a supporter of the occupation or not. All are just conjectures."
Romirowsky said he has a hard time believing Kahn is not familiar with the mandatory IDF service.
"It's hard to believe that he had never come across this fact before, especially considering he specializes in Middle-Eastern affairs," he said.
Rausch said Kahn's e-mail message concerned her.
"I did not want our already confirmed speakers to drop out as I felt uncertain about the status of Kahn continuing to be our speaker for the next day as well as the other two speakers, as I had not received any reply from them," she said.
Rausch said Romirowsky's invitation was not withdrawn and that he was simply asked to come and speak at a different date.
"We respect Mr. Romirowsky very much and had wished was part of our panel, but I had ordered one of my members, whom was our correspondent with Asaf, to ask him if he would come and speak at a later date," she said.
Kahn said Romirowsky is now attacking his character.
"Asaf is accusing me of being associated with terrorist organizations," he said. "This was not about all Israelis or all Jews."
Kahn said the accusations are upsetting and does not know if the attacks will continue.
Romirowsky said he was unfamiliar with these claims.
"I never made those accusations," he said. "That has nothing to do with me."