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Pro-Palestine supporters 'losing jobs over Gaza solidarity'

Pro-Palestine supporters 'losing jobs' over Gaza solidarity: NGO
3 min read
26 October, 2023
The NGO Palestine Legal found that there has been an "unprecedented barrage of extreme attacks” against pro-Palestine supporters since the start of the Gaza conflict.
Reports have surfaced of pro-Palestine advocates 'facing a wave of McCarthyite backlash' [Getty]

Pro-Palestine supporters who openly show solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza currently have faced severe assaults and harassment from pro-Israel affiliates, an NGO has said.

Palestine Legal, a US-based civil rights organisation that monitors anti-Palestinian incidents, has issued a report detailing that heightened targeting of Palestine advocates in the country has since led to over 260 of "harassment and censorship attempts".

In a series of tweets on X on Tuesday, Palestine Legal explained how pro-Palestinian advocates are "facing a wave of McCarthyite backlash" that is continually affecting personal and professional lives. 

"We have spoken to people being fired from their jobs for sharing social media posts or signing statements that support Palestinian human rights, including the revocation of our client Ryna Workman’s job offer from corporate law firm Winston & Strawn, LLP," the group said.

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On Wednesday, New York University Law student Ryna Workman told ABC News that a job offer was rescinded from an international law firm over their public support for Palestinians.

After issuing a statement in the law school's student bar association's weekly newsletter, which Workman ran as president, they shared their support for the Palestinian people, pro-Israel NYU community members denounced Workman for "blaming Israel" for the attack.  

Since the controversy, Workman had their job offer with law firm Winston & Strawn revoked and was removed as student bar association president. 

Workman is one of many students who have endured major blowback following Harvard University students who faced doxxing and violent harassment for showing their sympathy to Palestinians under Israeli occupation.

"Meanwhile, a chorus of Wall Street executives say they won't hire any students who have signed statements in support of Palestine and are pressuring universities to punish students for exercising their First Amendment and free speech rights," Palestine Legal said.

"We’ve documented violent assaults and death threats against pro-Palestinian protestors, and Israel supporters brandishing or firing off guns, chanting 'death to Arabs' at counter-protests and calling for the wiping out of Gaza - echoing the genocidal language of Israeli officials," the group said.

"Our partners at [The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee] have also documented a disturbing uptick in law enforcement visits to Palestinian and Muslim community members, and we have documented arrests and trumped-up charges for speaking out and protesting for Palestinian rights."

On October 19, Palestine Legal issued an open letter that was backed by over 600 community groups across the US, to urge government officials and institutional leaders to take urgent action against "the surging racist attacks and unlawful retaliation against advocates for Palestinian rights".

The letter implored to reaffirm pro-Palestine campaigners' right to protest and "publicly condemning incitement to violence and racist rhetoric against Palestinians".

The letter added that there was a need to emphasise the "humanity and dignity of Palestinians" and provide students and individuals with "the resources and support services they need to deal not only with the grief and trauma of a genocidal bombardment of Gaza and severe attacks on Palestinians throughout Palestine, but also of the negation of their humanity, their experiences, and their rights in the media, by their institutions, and by government officials".

Winston & Strawn did not immediately respond to TNA's request for comment.