February 02, 2009

Tel Aviv University law faculty now features a war criminal

The appointment of Sharvit-Baruch, the IDF's top international law expert, to the teaching post met with protest from a handful of lecturers and Haaretz over the weekend, who accused her of approving the killing of hundreds of civilians during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.

That refers to this Haaretz article, about which I wrote "Bloody Lawyers". In case anybody had the impression that putting legal lipstick on murder would harm Sharvit-Baruch's academic career, Tel aviv University categorically rejected the idea.

The university was quick to note that it did not acquiesce to the complaints against Sharvit-Baruch, with one university official saying they believed it was Haaretz that had lent needless significance to a "non-event."

"Only a single law professor protested [Sharvit-Baruch's] appointment, and he retracted his protest soon after, saying the law faculty is not a courtroom," read a statement from the university management.

"At no point did the faculty even consider canceling Pnina Sharvit-Baruch's appointment," Dagan, the law school dean, wrote toDefense Minister Ehud Barak last week in response to the minister's
query. (J Post)

We are not surprised. After all, it is Israel, a country in which war crimes are the sine qua non of running for Prime Minister. Ben Gurion, Begin, Shamir Rabin, Peres, Barak and Sharon were all criminals before they became Prime Ministers. Olmert wasn't, which is why he was so eager to invade Lebanon. And Livni wasn't, which is why she supported the massacres of Gaza to bolster her chances in the elections. Dr. Anat Matar, was quoted in Haaretz saying that she "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."But why shouldn't they? In coming years, defending war criminals will be a growth industry for Israeli lawyers, and the experience of Sharvit-Baruch will be priceless. And that even without considering future massacres that her young law students will need to justify and defend. Not only is it appropriate that she be appointed, she should head a special concentration in "criminal international law defense."

Boycott Tel Aviv University yesterday!

I reserved the best quote for last:

University representative said the institution does not cancel appointments over disagreements in legal interpretation. "Pluralism is the life-breath of Tel Aviv University," the representative said.


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