Steven Davidoff Solomon is a
corporate law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. While he has no doubt seen his school enroll and anoint generations of radical leftists over the past decade, he’s now ready to warn law firms about at least one variety of extremism they can expect from Berkeley graduates.
Sunday opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, Solomon pleaded with prospective employers: “Don’t hire some of my students.”
Solomon, co-founder of the Antisemitism Education Initiative and an adviser to the Jewish law students’ association, noted that anti-Semitism is “nothing new on university campuses, including here on Berkeley.”
He cited as one recent example
a bylaw adopted last year by several student groups and several more since — including the Queer Caucus, the Berkeley Law Muslim Student Association, the Womxn of Color Collective, and the Women of Berkeley Law — that bars supporters of Israel from speaking, effectively creating “‘Jew-free’ zones.”
Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the law school, recognized the legality of the prohibition in a December interview with the New York Times,
likening the speaker ban to a Jewish group’s refusal to invite a Holocaust denier, a black group’s refusal to invite a white supremacist, or a feminist group’s refusal to invite a pro-life speaker.
“The bylaw remains, and 11 other groups subsequently adopted it,” wrote Solomon. “You don’t need an advanced degree to see why this bylaw is wrong. For millennia, Jews have prayed, ‘next year in Jerusalem,’ capturing how central the idea of homeland is to Jewish identity. By excluding Jews from their homeland — after Jews have already endured thousands of years of persecution — these organizations are engaging in anti-Semitism and dehumanizing Jews.”
Solomon indicated that the spirit behind this prohibition “is part of the broader attitude against Jews on university campuses that made last week’s massacre possible. It is shameful and has been tolerated for too long.”
The group behind the bylaw, Law Students for Justice in Palestine, recently issued a
statement denouncing “the framing of Israel as a victim,” adding, “The double standard framing of Palestinian activism as terrorism is rooted in Islamophobic and xenophobic rhetoric.”
The response by the LSJP and other student groups to the massacre of thousands of Israelis and dozens of Americans by Hamas terrorists appears to have been the last straw for the law professor.
Solomon highlighted the response by the law firm Winston & Strawn as exemplar for other employers to follow.
previously reported that Ryna Workman, the so-called “non-binary” and soon-to-be ex-president of the New York University Student Bar Association, had her job offer at Winston & Strawn rescinded last week after she equated Hamas terrorists’ massacre of civilians to “resistance” and claimed that “Israel bears full responsibility for this tremendous loss of life.”
“Today, Winston & Strawn learned that a former summer associate published certain inflammatory comments regarding Hamas’ recent terrorist attack on Israel and distributed it to the NYU Student Bar Association. These comments are profoundly in conflict with Winston & Strawn’s values as a firm,” the firm stated on Oct. 10.
Solomon suggested that “legal employers in the recruiting process should do what Winston & Strawn did: treat these law students like the adults they are. If a student endorses hate, dehumanization or anti-Semitism, don’t hire him. When students face consequences for their actions, they straighten up.”
“If you are a legal employer, when you interview students from Berkeley, Harvard, NYU or any other law school this year, ask them what organizations they belong to. Ask if they support discriminatory bylaws or other acts and resolutions blaming Jews and Israelis for the Hamas massacre,” continued Solomon. “If a student endorses hatred, it isn’t only your right but your duty not to hire him. Do you want your clients represented by someone who condones these monstrous crimes?”
Chemerinsky penned his own
opinion piece this week wherein he stressed that just as students are within their rights to express noxious views on campus, law firms have the right to refuse to employ them.
“Every fall, I send a message to the students at my school, staunchly defending their free speech rights, but also urging care as they decide what to say,” wrote Chemerinsky. “I caution them that what they choose to put on social media could matter to prospective employers.”
It’s not just law firms that are taking action on this front. Various CEOs and and Wall Street tycoons have
indicated they will similarly not hire cheerleaders for terrorists and radical anti-Semites.
Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman
noted on X that he had been asked by a number of CEOs if Harvard would release a list of the members of the student organizations who sponsored the letter “so as to insure [sic] that none of us inadvertently hire any of their members.” That list has since been made public.
Just as various students stand to miss out on money-making opportunities, so do schools, which are seeing big-name donors cut off funding over their constituents’ apparent anti-Semitism.
Longtime donor and former U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman recently told the president of the University of Pennsylvania that the school’s “silence in the face of reprehensible and historic Hamas evil against the people of Israel (when the only response should be outright condemnation) is a new low. … Consequently, the Huntsman Foundation will close its checkbook on all future giving to Penn,”
reported The Hill.
Solomon told The Hill that the “lack of a moral response by universities has led people to finally put their foot down. Universities have been engaging for far too long in moral equivocation and terrorist attacks against innocents should be condemned and not justified. And the fact that the universities, the elite universities, hesitated is just plain wrong.”
Dueling protests over Israel-Hamas war held on UC Berkeley campusyoutu.be
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