The Dean of the law college at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University had this to say about a recent email from one of the University’s law professors:
“I was shocked to learn of the email sent to you by Professor Sheinman. It was a hurtful letter, and since the morning we have been justifiably flooded with messages from students and family members, many of whom are involved during these very days in the battles in the south.
“Both the content and the style of the letter contravene the values of the university and the law faculty. The faculty champions the values of pluralism, tolerance, and freedom of expression, but the inclusion of such positions as were included in the administrative message sent by Prof. Sheinman to the students on a matter relating to exams does not fit into the framework of academic freedom or freedom of personal expression in any acceptable sense. This constitutes the inappropriate use of the power given to a lecturer to exploit the platform given to him as a law teacher… the matter will be handled with the appropriate seriousness.”
What was the offensive message? An email to students informing them that Prof. Sheinman would be extending access to his class’ final exam, in light of the fighting in Gaza. The email happened to begin with a statement that the professor hoped the email:
“finds you in a safe place, and that you, your families and those dear to you are not among the hundreds of people that were killed, the thousands wounded, or the tens of thousands whose homes were destroyed or were forced to leave their homes during, or as a direct result of, the violent confrontation in the Gaza Strip and its environs.”