Israel’s War Against Palestine: Documenting the Military Occupation of Palestinian and Arab Lands

IDF colonel to teach TAU law course, despite critics’ bid to stop her

1 February 2009

By: Barak Ravid, Haaretz – 1 Feb 2009

Tel Aviv University confirmed on Sunday that Israel Defense Forces Colonel Pnina Sharvit-Baruch would teach a course on international law during the spring semester as planned, despite attempts by critics of her policies to prevent her from lecturing there.

“Pluralism is a central tenet of Tel Aviv University, part of its reason for being and of its important societal role,” the university wrote in a statement. “In this regard, the University’s policy is clear and it does not intend to bow to pressures from one quarter or another.”

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday responded to opposition to the appointment by saying Israel would no longer support institutions that discriminate against IDF officers because of their military service.

“In my opinion, any university that takes part in the disqualification of lecturers on such grounds before an examination [of their service] has finished, will be an institution not suitable for funding from the Israeli government.” Olmert dismissed the protesters who opposed her appointment as “a number of self-righteous, sanctimonious, arrogant hypocrites that chose to make an exception out of the military service of the IDF Advocacy General without determining if she is guilty [of crimes].”

The objections came in the wake of a recent story published in Haaretz about Sharvit-Baruch, who heads the IDF international law division.

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.

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