Last update - 15:43 26/01/2009
Lecturers say IDF officer who justified Gaza strikes should not teach law
By Ofri Ilani, Haaretz Correspondent
Professors at Tel Aviv University are protesting a decision to appoint
Col. Pnina Sharvit-Baruch as a lecturer for the Faculty of Law.
The objections come in the wake of a recent story published in Haaretz
about Sharvit-Baruch, who heads the Israel Defense Forces international law
The report said that under Sharvit-Baruch's command, IDF legal experts
legitimized strikes involving Gaza civilians, including the bombardment of
the Gaza police course closing ceremony.
Sharvit-Baruch is planning on retiring from the army in the coming months
and is scheduled to teach at the university's law department next semester.
Leading the protest against Sharvit-Baruch's appointment is Professor
Chaim Ganz of the university's Minerva Center for Human Rights.
Ganz wrote a letter to Professor Hanoch Dagan, the dean of the law
faculty, claiming that Sharvit-Baruch's interpretation of the law during
Israel's Gaza offensive allowed the army to act in ways that constitute
potential war crimes. Ganz also said that Sharvit-Baruch harms Israel's
Dr. Anat Matar, a lecturer at Tel Aviv University's philosophy department,
said, "I was shocked to learn that half of the second-year law students
will learn the foundations of law from someone who helped justify the
killing of civilians, including hundreds of children."
Dagan told Haaretz that he will not respond to the claims of the original
story, but said that the Faculty of Law makes every effort to expose its
students to a variety of opinions and encourages discussion, even about
questions that provoke disagreement.