Legal Aid Society Union Condemns Israel

One might think defending the indigent would be woke enough to soothe the insipient outrage that permeates the majority of the membership of United Auto Workers local 2325, but as expressed in lawyerspeak by union representative Niteka Raina, it barely scratched the woke surface.

“Being a public defender should inherently mean you’re against f—ing genocide,” lawyer Niteka Raina wrote in a ranting email to coworkers obtained by The Post.

“But I guess legal aid is so desperate for attorneys the organization just lets anyone stay these days, oof.

“Ya dumbf—k genocide supporters,” Raina comtinued. “The united states and israel are both settler-colonial entities and both shouldn’t f—ing exist, ya dips—ts.””

LAS refused the union’s flagrantly anti-Semitic demand to condemn, and call for a boycott, of Israel. so the union resolved to do so itself. Despite the efforts by four exceptionally brave lawyers to enjoin the union from doing so, the resolution passed 1067 to 570.

The divisive resolution calls for “an end to Israeli apartheid and the occupation and blockade of Palestinian land, sea, and air by Israeli military forces.”

The statement opposes all existing and future US military aid to Israel and endorses the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against the Jewish state.

It also backs legislation forbidding not-for-profits in New York from supporting “illegal Israeli settlements” on disputed land.

“We support the right of all Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland,” the resolution said.

As for the terrorist attack on October 7th, the rapes, beheadings, burnings, murders and taking of hostages, the resolution only mentioned it in passing.

WHEREAS, Israel has, since the violent tragedy on October 7, 2023, increasingly espoused genocidal rhetoric against all Palestinians, including the Israeli Defense Minister calling all Gazans “human animals,” and the President of Israel denying the existence of innocent civilians in the Gaza Strip, and has taken actions to collectively punish civilians in Gaza, such as cutting off food, water, aid, and electricity, and conducting a widespread bombing campaign;

The mission of the Legal Aid Society is the defense of the indigent, “one simple but powerful belief: that no New Yorker should be denied the right to equal justice.” The union, however, sees its mission as including the hatred of Jews as well, as progressive ideological orthodoxy demands.

“ALAA’s implicit justification of the barbaric acts of terrorism committed by Hamas — an internationally recognized terrorist organization — erodes any claims of advocating for justice or human rights,” Legal Aid attorney and union member Ariella Goldstein told The Post.

“The resolution appallingly condones the dehumanizing rapes, kidnapping, beheading, and murders that Hamas committed, and recorded themselves committing, on October 7,” she added.

The nature of lawyers who choose to become public defenders has always involved a deep sympathy for its clientele, the poor and often despised accused of crimes and unable to afford a defense. But that did not necessarily mean that empathy toward some compelled hatred toward others. It does now, and it eludes a great many public defenders why hating Jews and Israel is not part of the job.

The Legal Aid Society, the employer of the anti-Israel lawyers, declined comment on Tuesday.

But last month the group, which relies on millions of dollars in public funding to provide legal services to the needy, slammed the resolution as “laden with coded antisemitic language and thinly veiled calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.”

“At a time when our attorneys and staff should be united in support of the people we serve, the resolution does not advance the legal interests of our clients, does not comport with our mission and values, and is divisive and hurtful,” the statement continued.

The need for indigent defense is not merely a constitutional mandate under Gideon, but a fundamentally critical part of a functioning criminal legal system. What is not needed, and is indeed anathema to the mission of public defense, is the overt hatred of Jews and Israel in the performance of public defense. That these lawyers are paid with public monies while perceiving their job as one of religious and ethnic hatred as required by their “oppressor/oppressed” ideology which permeates their silo suggests that the majority of these lawyers have no place in public defense and, frankly, the law.

Notably, the 570 lawyers who voted against the resolution, assuming they didn’t do so because it wasn’t harsh enough on Jews, and especially the four brave souls to tried to prevent their union from devolving into hatred rather than support for their sole cause, the defense of the poor, demonstrate that not all the public defenders and staff at LAS are lost to their ideology of hatred. The question now, however, is whether they will be shunned and sabotaged by their co-workers for being insufficiently hateful of those the union demands they hate, and forced out of the Society for only being woke enough to defend the poor and not hate the Jews.


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