A black law student who recently received a job offer was withdrawn due to his support of the Palestinian people.
Ryna Workman, a New York University law student body president who is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, wrote a letter to their classmates, expressing their “unwavering and absolute solidarity with the Palestinians in their resistance to oppression on the path to liberation and self-determination,” it said The interception. Workman concluded the message by saying, “Israel bears full responsibility for this tremendous loss of life.”
Workman’s controversial letter led to her removal as president of the Student Bar Association. They faced criticism online for refusing to condemn Hamas’ actions in the Oct. 7 attacks that killed about 1,300 Israelis. The law firm Winston & Strawn withdrew its postgraduate job offer to Workman because of her support for Palestinians.
Since then, Workman has received online death threats and the university is launching a full investigation into the cases.
In her first interview with the media, Workman told The Intercept that her message was to shed light on Israel’s “75-year violent regime over Palestine” and to advocate for basic human rights. They also admired the resilience of the people of Gaza, who continued to use their voices to rally global support.
“What drives me at this moment is the resilience of Palestinians,” Workman told The Intercept. “The fact that they are still raising their voices, that they are still strong, that they are still here and that they are asking us to continue to raise our voices and stand up for them and not let this be their end. “ .”
They continued: “And that is why I will continue to advocate on their behalf and call for these calls for an immediate ceasefire and for this delivery of this humanitarian assistance in a safe and timely manner to the people of Gaza.”
An NYU spokesperson released a opinion Response to Workman’s comments in the newsletter.
“The statement from the President of the Student Bar Association in no way reflects the position of NYU condemning the terrorist attack on Israel. Acts of terrorism are immoral. The indiscriminate killing of civilians and the taking of hostages, including children and the elderly, is reprehensible. “Blaming victims of terrorism for their own deaths is wrong,” the statement said.
On Monday, Workman released a statement saying they did not intend their message to appear “insensitive” to the Israeli nation.
“I received a lot of backlash for the message I sent to my fellow NYU law students expressing my support for the human rights of Palestinians,” the letter said. “My message seemed insensitive to the suffering of Israelis in a time of crisis, and that was not my intention. What I wrote was inspired by and agreed with many Jewish peace activists and Israelis, including the Editorial team of Israel’s largest newspaperhave spoken out about the violence over the past week.”
Workman is reportedly not the only student facing backlash for his support of Palestinians. The Intercept reported that students across the country, particularly at Harvard, were condemned for raising Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Research from Palestine Legal, an advocacy group, shows there were 1,707 incidents between 2014 and 2020.
“This is an unprecedented moment of fear and anxiety for everyone who speaks out publicly in support of Palestinians forced to stop an unfolding genocide in Gaza,” Dima Khalidi, director of Palestine Legal, told The Intercept . “There has always been a concerted effort to stifle the Palestinian rights movement through censorship, legal bullying, doxxing and more, as Palestine Legal has documented for years. “Now that attack has been amplified a hundredfold.”
Recently, Harvard students held several protests in which they addressed the importance of the right to free speech.
Harvard students maintain their stance in support of Palestine despite constant doxxing and attacks in the media. A right-wing group rented a truck that displays their faces on campus and they are blacklisted from employment.
There is a petition: pic.twitter.com/H0KiZUXb36
— BreakThrough News (@BTnewsroom) October 19, 2023