Female IDF soldiers (Credit: IDF)

By Leah Waxler

The Hebrew University in Jerusalem has apologised to a female student after a senior lecturer condoned her for wearing an IDF uniform to class.

Dr. Carola Hilfrich of the Faculty of Humanities was filmed on a mobile phone reprimanding the student after an Arab classmate said they were offended by the dress code. 

Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation reported the incident which has brought a wave support for the student whilst the lecturer has been lambasted for her actions.

“The Hebrew University honours all its students, including those who attend classes during their military service, whether they are drafted soldiers, career soldiers, or reservists,” a statement noted. 

“The Hebrew University’s management condemns disrespectful behaviour between fellow students, and between faculty members and students. 

“Both the university and the lecturer apologise to the student who was hurt by the incident.”  

The National Union of Israeli Students slammed the lecturer’s behaviour. 

“It is shameful that students are humiliated because of their uniforms.”

The union added, “In recent years, we have been promoting the rights of students who serve as military reservists, to guarantee that their service doesn’t interfere with their studies. It is inconceivable to us that an army uniform offended a member of the faculty. 

“A situation in which students feel unsafe on campus grounds is unacceptable. 

“Despite differences of opinion, we emphasise that both faculty members and students should express their opinions freely in a respectful and dignified manner.”

The lecturer’s ticking off was snapped by a student as Hilfrich admonished the soldier at the end of a class.

“You can’t be naive enough to ask to be treated as a civilian when you are in uniform,” she reportedly said. “You are a soldier in the Israeli army and people treat you accordingly.” 

The soldier told Hilfrich she had no interest in discussing politics, whilst stressing, she was protecting the State of Israel.

“Does it bother you that I’m wearing uniform in class?” the soldier reportedly asked Hilfrich.The lecturer replied, “There are people whose civil society is as important to them as the army is to you, and you must accept their priorities as tolerantly as they accept yours.”