October 15, 2023

An Open Letter to the Bar:                                       

I thought I worked in a noble profession. This past week’s events in Israel and right here in New York have me challenging that notion. The world woke up on Saturday, October 7, 2023, to learn that Hamas terrorists had breached Israel’s southern border, entering from Gaza through the security zone marauding, killing innocent civilians attending a concert, including shooting in the back those fleeing the onslaught. The Hamas terrorists entered residential communities, killed, slaughtered (literally), raped, burned to death, and captured more than 150 women, children, the elderly, including Holocaust survivors, among them Americans. Their carnage resulted in the death of 1,400 civilians and soldiers, destruction of communities, homes, property, all during Israel’s celebration of a holiday.

The dust started to settle, and the horror of the attack came to light. Proud of its accomplishments, Hamas filmed and released to the media the open taking of hostages, including women, children and the elderly. Using their captured hostages’ phones, they uploaded the actual capture of their targets and sent the videos to the families.

What, if anything, does this have to do with our noble legal profession? Days after the event, our local Ivy league schools hosted rallies supporting Hamas’ atrocities blaming the Israeli victims. Some went so far as to sign a letter justifying Hamas’ actions. One Harvard divinity professor who stood together with similarly anti-Israel protesters at Harvard, refused on national television to take back his accusation that Israel deserved what took place on that Saturday. A similar rally took place last Friday at Times Square.

Except for one law firm that retracted an offer to a very outspoken female student, there has not been an outcry from the legal community condemning these students, their rhetoric and support for genocide of a sovereign country and its Jewish inhabitants.

Query: Can anyone really take the position that there is a moral reason to kill forty (40) babies, beheading them? Can one stand on a podium and honestly justify that a “freedom fighter” as they call the Hamas terrorists are justified in cutting open the stomach of a pregnant Israeli women, stabbing the fetus and shooting in cold blood the mother?  There is no way in civilization that an intellectually honest and moral person can justify the events of October 7, 2023. 

We are a noble profession. We promote enforcement of the law, equity and justice. Morality and moral character are criteria lawyers must demonstrate, among others, to become a member of the New York Bar and obtain approval from the Character Committee.

Any law student or law school that can justify, laud and glorify the killing and taking of civilian hostages, and barbaric killing of infants and pregnant women in the manner done so on October 7, 2023 by Hamas, is not a student or an institution that is moral or intellectually honest. I, for one, would never recommend or hire such a student from such an institution and would question the integrity of anyone that would.

It is time for the local bar to speak up against discrimination. “From the river to the sea” is Hamas’ battle call to wipe out Israel as a nation state. To do so would be to wipe out an entire people: a genocide.

Remarkably, last Friday, one protestor in Times Square when asked by a reporter about the killing of babies replied that the accusation was “fake news”. This immediately reminded me of General Eisenhower’s direction upon witnessing the horrors of Nazi killings in the concentration camps to film the tragedy “because down the road of history some bastard will get up and say that this never happened.” Yet, less than a week after the Hamas invasion, Hamas supporters are already denying the despicable death and destruction.

Our moral profession mandates that we speak out and call out injustice. Please join me in doing so.

David Rosenbaum, Esq.

David B. Rosenbaum, Senior Partner at Borah Goldstein Altschuler Nahins & Goidel, P.C., is a member of the New York Bar and was admitted to the Israeli Bar in 1994. He co-supervises the Commercial Landlord-Tenant area and Supreme Court Divisions and actively mentors associates at the firm. Mr. Rosenbaum litigates and tries commercial matters both in the Supreme and Civil Courts. His experience includes litigation in all related real estate matters, administrative law matters, and appeals.

Besides thirty-eight years of active experience in the area of real estate litigation, Mr. Rosenbaum serves as a Member of the New York State Bar Association, the New York County Lawyers' Association, and the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists. He is also a member and trustee of the Jewish Lawyer's Guild.