One of America’s most prestigious law firms has rescinded job offers for three Harvard and Columbia students behind letters blaming Israel for Hamas attacks that left 1,400 dead.
Davis Polk said two of the students had leadership roles in the ‘Palestine solidarity groups at Columbia’ that said in a letter defending the attack that ‘occupied people have a right to resist’.
One student was associated with the ‘Harvard Palestine Solidarity Groups’, which wrote that the ‘Israeli regime’ was responsible for the terror.
The law firm said in a statement: “The views expressed in certain of the statements signed by law school student organizations in recent days are in direct contravention of our firm’s value system.
“For this reason and to ensure we continue to maintain a supportive and inclusive work environment, the student leaders responsible for signing on to these statements are no longer welcome in our firm; and their offers of employment have thus been rescinded.”
The law firm is reconsidering its decision for two of the students who say they did not authorize the letters.
The letters did not have individual signatories and the identities of the students were not revealed by Davis Polk.
The Harvard letter was signed by more than 30 student groups.
Within days, many of the Harvard students had been named and a truck with a digital billboard of their photos, under the headline Harvard’s Leading Antisemites’, was driving around the campus.
The truck was paid for by Accuracy in Media, a conservative group.
“It’s ironic that students on campus where facebook was invented are shocked their names are publicly available,” Adama Guillette, president of Accuracy in Media, said. ‘We’re merely amplifying their message.”
The Ivy League university has already seen big donors pull their funding.
Bill Ackman, the hedge fund billionaire and Harvard alumnus, has called for the students’ names to be revealed so people can avoid ‘inadvertently’ hiring them.
Since the letters were published, some law students promised employment by Davis Polk have reached out to distance themselves from the letters. Many said they had resigned from the groups behind them, a spokesperson said.
NY law firm Winston & Strawn has also rescinded an offer it made to New York University law student Ryna Workman, president of the university's Bar Association, for writing to the student group that ‘Israel bears full responsibility for this tremendous loss of life’.