The Nassau County Bar Association (NCBA) is joining with other bar association in condeming the Hamas attack on Israel and antisemitism, the NCBA said on Friday.
The NCBA’s board of directors said in a statement that it “condemns the recent brutal terrorist attack perpetrated by the governing body of the Gaza Strip, Hamas, upon men, women, children and infants which resulted in the barbaric torture, mutilation and death of innocents and the taking as hostages babies, children and the elderly. We decry such brutal actions as a violation of the rule of law and without any moral justification whatsoever.”
The bar association joins the New York State Bar Association, American Bar Association, International Bar Association which in October, issued statements of condemnation.
Tensions have since risen, over the course of the Israel-Hamas war, and there is an increase in antisemitism, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Thsi week the NCBA said that its members “decry the rise of antisemitic and violent attacks upon Jewish people in this country and around the world. We denounce physical attacks upon our American institutions and our citizens. We support First Amendment Speech, but, when that valuable right is used to propagate hate speech or incite violence, it becomes the antithesis of freedom and democracy which are the pillars of our society and the rule of law.”
The NCBA statement comes at a time when Wall Street law firms are warning law schools that they won’t recruit from campuses that tolerate antisemitism.
“Over the last several weeks, we have been alarmed at reports of anti-Semitic harassment, vandalism and assaults on college campuses, including rallies calling for the death of Jews and the elimination of the State of Israel,” the law firms said in the letter. “Such anti-Semitic activities would not be tolerated at any of our firms. We also would not tolerate outside groups engaging in acts of harassment and threats of violence, as has also been occurring on many of your campuses.”
The law firms went on to say that as “educators at institutions of higher learning, it is imperative that you provide your students with the tools and guidance to engage in the free exchange of ideas, even on emotionally charged issues, in a manner that affirms the values we all hold dear and rejects unreservedly that which is antithetical to those values.”
And, they said, “There is no room for anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism or any other form of violence, hatred or bigotry on your campuses, in our workplaces or our communities.”
The law firms pointed out that as “employers who recruit from each of your law schools, we look to you to ensure your students who hope to join our firms after graduation are prepared to be an active part of workplace communities that have zero tolerance policies for any form of discrimination or harassment, much less the kind that has been taking place on some law school campuses. We trust you will take the same unequivocal stance against such activities as we do, and we look forward to a respectful dialogue with you to understand how you are addressing with urgency this serious situation at your law schools.”
The NCBA statement and the letter from the law firms follow an increase of antisemitism on college campuses.
Some Jewish students have complained that superheated rhetoric at demonstrations questioning Israel’s right to exist has been antisemitic. Pro-Palestinian students have countered that they’ve been wrongly accused of hate speech.
Earlier this week, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said that “for Jewish and Muslim New Yorkers alike, the pain is deep, as they fear not just for the safety of their loved ones in harm’s way, but increasingly, for their own safety here at home.
“Let me be clear,” she added. “We cannot allow hate and intimidation to become normalized. We cannot risk losing our identity as a place that has been long admired, a place known for acceptance.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.