New York University’s student bar association voted to start the removal process of President Ryna Workman after she defended the Palestinian militant group Hamas’ deadly attack on Israeli civilians as “necessary” in a school-wide email, the New York Daily News has learned.

“We want to be clear, first and foremost, that we mourn the tremendous loss of human life in the past several days,” read the Tuesday night email, obtained by the Daily News, which directed students to campus mental health services and the student affairs office.

“As a governing body that represents students and student groups with a wide range of perspectives on these very important issues, and out of concern for the safety of the members of the SBA and the student body, SBA cannot comment further,” it continued.

Removal procedures outlined in the organization’s charter require a hearing, which was scheduled for between Oct. 17 and 24. A “vote of no confidence” survey has been circulated as well.

In the meantime, other members of the association clarified they “did not write, approve, or see this message before it was published,” nor discuss whether to issue a statement on the conflict, let alone its content.

Multiple students have been subject to targeted harassment and death threats since the statement, according to the email, which called on the law school’s administration to “do more” to protect students and their privacy.

A spokesman for NYU did not immediately say if and what security measures were added.

In a follow-up statement Wednesday, NYU Law Dean Troy McKenzie and Board of Trustees Chair David Tanner said the school “unequivocally condemns the recent terrorist acts and the atrocities perpetrated by Hamas in Israel.”

“The murder and kidnapping of civilians, and the use of sexual violence and the separation and torture of children, are all abominable and atrocious. We want to say, loud and clear, to our community: Any statement that does not recognize this brutality does not reflect the values of NYU Law,” said McKenzie and Tanner.

“We are working 24/7 to protect the safety of all our students while providing support for those most affected by the war, here and in Israel,” it continued.

On Tuesday afternoon, a weekly email blast from the student bar association president led with a statement about the ongoing conflict in Israel and Palestine.

“Israel bears full responsibility for this tremendous loss of life,” read the memo from Workman. “This regime of state-sanctioned violence created the conditions that made resistance necessary. I will not condemn Palestinian resistance.”

NYU quickly distanced itself from the students’ comments. The law firm where the student previously worked as a summer associate, Winston & Strawn LLP, revoked a return employment offer within five hours of the original blast.

Workman did not immediately return a request for comment.


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