Israeli nonprofit One of One on Sunday accused the Hebrew University of Jerusalem of blocking complaints against 11 lecturers for sex offenses, including rape.
But the university on Monday claimed no prior knowledge of the allegations and said it immediately contacted authorities upon receiving them.
The NGO demanded in a letter to Hebrew U. President Professor Menachem Ben-Sasson that the university set up an emergency committee “on account of the multiple, severe testimonies that have been brought to our attention regarding specific incidents as well as on account of the inadequate attention the university has given the phenomenon.
“According to testimony, the system for handling sexual harassment at Hebrew University deters victims from filing complaints on account of a number of conflicts of interest, plus inadequate conduct where cases are closed without public knowledge,” the letter continued.
Saying the university has already established three ad hoc committees about the issue in the past, the letter demanded “the management take upon itself the responsibility to address the issue and therefore our demand to establish an emergency commission with the presence of someone representing us.”
“They know about [at least] five lecturers who have sexually assaulted students, including one incidence of rape. Some of the incidents happened over the course of the current academic year,” said the director of One of One, Gal Shargil, to Ynet.
The university responded that it had no prior knowledge of the incidents and claimed to not have received any complaints.
“The university calls on One of One to please send us the information that they have so that it can check into and investigate the matter. At this point the university has not gotten a response. In the meantime, the university has submitted a complaint to the police asking that they investigate the matter,” it said.
Last month, political science professor Mario Schneider was accused of misconduct against two students. He was removed from his position at the university and ordered to compensate student Efrat Jacob, who had complained the abuse had gone on for six months before his dismissal.
One of One calls itself “an initiative that lives on Facebook that encourages young women to come together and to tell their stories of sexual harassment and sexual assault that they have experienced over the course of their lives in order to show all of us that we are not alone and that sexual assault can happen to anyone.”