A Berkeley law professor has warned law firms against hiring some of his students, arguing that members of a pro-Palestine group which defended Hamas’s terror attacks ‘advocate hate and practice discrimination’.
Berkeley’s Law Students for Justice in Palestine on October 11 published a letter in which they ‘denounce the framing of Israel as a victim.’
The letter notably avoided any condemnation of the October 7 attacks by Hamas, which killed 1,400 people, including civilians and soldiers, and saw the terrorists capture 199 hostages.
On Monday, pro-Palestine students holding placards calling Israel ‘a terrorist state’ and saying the country has ‘blood on its hands’ marched through Berkeley’s campus.
Steven Davidoff Solomon, a professor of corporate law at Berkeley, said that students backing the rallies and statements defending Hamas’s actions should not be hired.
Pro-Palestine students on Monday marched through Berkeley bearing signs which read ‘Israel is a terrorist state’
Berkeley students on Monday proclaimed: ‘Israel: you have blood on your hands’
Steven Davidoff Solomon, a professor of corporate law at Berkeley
‘My students are largely engaged and well-prepared, and I regularly recommend them to legal employers,’ he wrote, in an op ed in The Wall Street Journal, published on Sunday.
‘But if you don’t want to hire people who advocate hate and practice discrimination, don’t hire some of my students.’
Solomon pointed out that, last year, members of his university’s Law Students for Justice in Palestine voted to ban any pro-Israel speakers from events.
‘The student conduct at Berkeley is part of the broader attitude against Jews on university campuses that made last week’s massacre possible,’ wrote Solomon.
‘It is shameful and has been tolerated for too long.
‘It’s time for the adults to take over, and that includes law firms looking for graduates to hire.’
He praised the law firm Winston & Strawn for revoking its job offer from Ryna Workman, 24, a non-binary student at NYU’s School of Law after they sent a weekly newsletter saying the Hamas terror attack was Israel’s ‘full responsibility.’
The law firm said Workman’s condoning of Hamas’s actions are unacceptable.
‘Winston stands in solidarity with Israel’s right to exist in peace and condemns Hamas and the violence and destruction it has ignited in the strongest terms possible,’ the company said.
Ryna Workman, 24, a student at NYU’s School of Law sent a weekly newsletter saying that the terror attack was Israel’s ‘full responsibility’
Solomon said Winston & Strawn set a powerful precedent.
‘If a student endorses hate, dehumanization or anti-Semitism, don’t hire him,’ he wrote.
‘When students face consequences for their actions, they straighten up.’
He called on law firms to ask firms which organizations they were members of at university, and which groups they supported.
‘If a student endorses hatred, it isn’t only your right but your duty not to hire him,’ he concluded.
‘Do you want your clients represented by someone who condones these monstrous crimes?’
The group responded in an Instagram Story, saying that Solomon’s article ‘contains hateful misinformation’.
It added: ‘When your law school refers to itself as a paragon of free speech but it’s (sic) faculty desperately tries to quash any pro-Palestinian speech.’
Berkeley students protests on Monday, calling Israel a ‘terrorist state’
The Berkeley group on October 11 issued a long statement justifying the Hamas attack – the worst day for Jews since the Holocaust.
‘This week’s resistance builds on a century-long liberation struggle against the systematic, continuous, and genocidal violence toward Palestinian men, women, and children,’ the group wrote.
‘In the last few days, Israel has killed over 900 Palestinians, fulfilling its promise to ‘open the gates of hell over Gaza.”
The group condemned the dean of Berkeley Law, Erwin Chemerinsky, for speaking out in support of Israel, and said his statement ‘reeks of racism.’
In a statement which notably failed to condemn the loss of Israeli life, the group said: ‘His statement laments the loss of Israeli lives but completely ignores the loss of Palestinian life.
‘The double standard framing of Palestinian activism as terrorism is rooted in Islamophobic and xenophobic rhetoric. It reinforces the notion that Arab and Muslim communities are violent, desensitizing students and faculty to Palestinian death, and paves the way for its acceptance.’
They said Israel’s existence was to blame for the attacks.
‘Ignoring the apartheid regime, which is at the core of the violence today, misrepresents the historical and legal facts that underpin the occupation of Palestine,’ they wrote.
‘The Dean’s comments erase the Palestinian right to self-determination and resistance, a right enshrined in international law.’
Palestinian officials say 1,000 remain missing, feared trapped beneath the rubble of ruined homes and offices in Gaza. Rescue workers are seen on Monday searching the ruins
Air strikes have cost more than 2,750 lives and rendered half the population of Gaza refugees. Pictured: Smoke rises from various areas as Israeli attacks continue during the 10th day of clashes near the Gaza border in Sderot, Israel, on Monday
Desperate families were seen carrying mattresses on their backs as they heeded Israel’s warning of further retaliatory military action on Monday
Injured Palestinians arrive at the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza on Monday
Gazans are terrified about the expected ground invasion from Israel
Bodies of people killed in the attack by Hamas on southern Israel await identification on Monday
The row is similar to ones playing out across universities in the United States.
Harvard’s Arab Alumni Association has appealed for donations to help students’ mental health after they were subjected to ‘relentless bullying and intimidation’ for blaming Israel for the Hamas attacks of October 7.
The Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee issued a letter on October 7, co-signed by 33 other Harvard student organizations, stating: ‘We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.’
The students leading the 33 organizations and the Solidarity Committee were named and faced calls to be blacklisted from future employment. They included the son of British businesswoman Jo Malone.
On Wednesday, the Harvard Arab Alumni Association wrote to members appealing for help in supporting the students.
‘They may require legal counsel, healthcare, mental health support, financial aid or mentorship to navigate these turbulent and uncertain times.’
Supporters of Palestine gather at Harvard University on October 14. When the terror attacks were launched by Hamas on October 7, the Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee issued a co-signed by 33 other Harvard student organizations, stating: ‘We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence’
Harvard students at the October 14 rally on campus
The letter caused a massive backlash after 33 student societies backed the statement written by the PSC ‘holding the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence’
‘They have been subjected to relentless bullying and intimidation,’ the association wrote, in a letter obtained by reporter John Hasson.
‘This situation is rapidly deteriorating as some students find their names on watchlists, creating severe risks for their immigration status and future career prospects.
‘Our ask and plea to you all is to extend your hand to these students and provide the vital assistance they need within your capacity and scope of influence.’
Neither Harvard nor the association have responded to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
A letter from more than 30 Harvard student groups was sent on the day of the attacks, which saw Hamas terrorists stage a dawn raid from Gaza on a music festival near the border and villages nearby. Women and children were murdered in their beds, and an estimated 200 people have been taken hostage.
Since the raid, 1,300 Israelis have been killed.
‘Today’s events did not occur in a vacuum,’ the statement read.
‘For the last two decades, millions of Palestinians in Gaza have been forced to live in an open-air prison. Israeli officials promise to ‘open the gates of hell,’ and the massacres in Gaza have already commenced.
‘In the coming days, Palestinians will be forced to bear the full brunt of Israel’s violence. The apartheid regime is the only one to blame,’ it continues.
Claudine Gay, the president of Harvard, said days later the letter does not speak for the educational institution as a whole or its leadership. Her comments came after some criticized the Harvard administration for taking too long to denounce the student letter.
On Friday, she issued another apology.
Gay said the university rejects terrorism, hate and harassment based on people’s beliefs while embracing free expression, even ‘views that many of us find objectionable, even outrageous.’
She wrote: ‘We do not punish or sanction people for expressing’ objectionable or outrageous views.
‘But that is a far cry from endorsing them. It’s in the exercise of our freedom to speak that we reveal our characters and we reveal the character of our institution.’