Guilford College Palestinians hire mouthpiece

by Amy Kingsley

Three Palestinians involved in a violent incident on the Guilford College campus last weekend have hired attorney Seth Cohen who announced on Jan. 27 that all were cooperating fully with investigators.

His announcement came on the heels of a press release by the Greensboro Police Department stating that the three had cancelled two interviews this week. Cohen said the students had scheduled an interview with the FBI, which is investigating the incident as a possible civil rights violation, and the Greensboro Police Department. He described the police department’s statement as “a misunderstanding.”

“These are three fine young men,” he said of his clients. “Osama is from Jerusalem and Omar and Faris are from Ramallah. They have been caught in a media firestorm.”

Cohen did not answer questions about Faris Khader’s suspension from Guilford College last semester or whether any of the Palestinians clashed with members of the football team before Jan. 20.

Parents of Michael Bates, one of five football players who have been arrested in conjunction with the incident, released a statement on Jan. 26 accusing the media of prejudging the athletes’ guilt. Michael Six has accused Khader of stabbing and belt-whipping him.

Cohen said any injuries received by the football players were inflicted in self-defense.

“We believe the facts will show they were minding their own business when they were attacked,” Cohen said.