To Understand How Tel Aviv University Corrupts Your College, Read Towers of Ivory and Steel

Towers of Ivory and Steel:How Israeli Universities Deny Palestinian Freedom

In the middle of Rutgers struggle to rid itself from connections to an IDF intelligence facility – aka Tel Aviv University – what more perfect gift – and sign that we are on the path of victory is the recent announcement of the publication of “Towers of Ivory and Steel: How Israel Universities Deny Palestinian Freedom.  Below is an excerpt from the Democracy for the Arab World Now website where an excerpt of this awesome publication is presented.  Rutgers community should obtain and circulate this volume – this could also be an opportunity to link up with other universities trying to rid themselves from the IDF intelligence asset – Mossad front door also known as Tel Aviv University – ed.

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Maya Wind is a scholar of Israeli expertise and militarism. She is a Killam Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia.

Editor’s note: The following essay is adapted from Maya Wind’s new book Towers of Ivory and Steel: How Israeli Universities Deny Palestinian Freedompublished by Verso.

On Dec. 27, 2008, a targeted Israeli airstrike killed 89 Palestinian police cadets during their graduation ceremony in the Gaza Strip. This strike was no accident. It was planned for months in advance and discussed at length in the Israeli Military Advocate General’s Corps, responsible for the rule of law in the Israeli military. Specifically, the proposed airstrike was brought to the Corps’ Department of International Law, which has increasingly played a key role in military decision-making, its jurists routinely advising senior Israeli commanders during the planning and execution of military operations. These military jurists thus not only offer legal advice, but shape how laws of war are interpreted and how military violence is waged.

The Department of International Law approved the targeted airstrike, thus initiating Israel’s 2008-9 offensive on the Gaza Strip. Under the leadership of Col. Pnina Sharvit Baruch, department jurists had contended that the police cadets could be considered combatants and, therefore, legitimate targets, because they would likely be absorbed into military forces that fall under Hamas authority in fighting the impending Israeli military offensive. The execution of the Israeli airstrike itself, in other words, changed the designation of the cadets it targeted from civilians to combatants. This argument has since been criticized by both international human rights organizations and legal scholars as unduly expanding the definition of legitimate targets and as an unusual if not improper reading of international humanitarian law. Nevertheless, the department sent its jurists to the operation rooms on the Israeli-designated border of the Gaza Strip for the remainder of the offensive, sanctioning tactics that were widely criticized by the international community as war crimes.

Not even two weeks after a cease-fire was signed toward the end of the offensive, Tel Aviv University announced it had appointed Sharvit Baruch as a lecturer in its Faculty of Law. Moving directly from overseeing the 2008-9 offensive on the Gaza Strip, Sharvit Baruch was hired to teach a course on international law the following semester. Sharvit Baruch’s appointment to the Faculty of Law was broadly celebrated, except for opposition by a few university faculty and student groups who decried her role in sanctioning war crimes and compromising the academic integrity of legal studies. Responding immediately to the criticism, the minister of defense at the time, Ehud Barak, contacted the university administration to support the appointment, and then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert preemptively threatened to withhold funding from universities that would reject faculty based on their work for the Israeli military.

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