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Revised title: Harvard Students Face Job Loss: Law Firm Reverses Offer After Israel Letter Signing

A law firm has recently been under scrutiny after attempting to rescind job offers to Harvard Law students who signed a pro-Israel letter. The law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell, took a stand against a potential boycott of Israel when they attempted to retract their job offers to the students. The letter, urging US governments not to boycott Israel, was part of a “call for reason” that encouraged thought to replace hostility. The law firm argued that participating in the call was a breach of neutrality which was a requirement of recruitment. This decision created a huge uproar in the Harvard student body as it was perceived to be a form of punishment for political expression. Harvard College’s Hillel Jewish student organization described the incident as “an attempt to shame students of faith and differing political opinions.” The Harvard Community reacted strongly. It argued that students should not be obliged to remain “non-committal” to issues of justice and humanity. Furthermore, the Harvard Black Law Student Association was incensed and explained that Sullivan & Cromwell’s action goes against the ethical duty of an employer to provide full equity and equality to potential employees. In response, David J. Shear, the chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell, apologized for his firm’s actions, noting that it was wrong of them to threaten to rescind job offers due to the signing of the letter. He assured students that Sullivan & Cromwell is absolutely committed to providing equal employment opportunities, regardless of one’s political beliefs or other characteristics. The firm also reached out to the students who had received offers and rescinded them to offer them discharged and replaces letters, which the students accepted. As a result of this incident, Sullivan & Cromwell has received much criticism but also learned from its mistakes. This incident shows that it is important for employers to ensure that they remain politically neutral when looking for new employees and that they should never retaliate against those who do choose to have a political opinion.