Hussain ponders the thin line between anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish mobs.
Law sector workers have become engaged in public spats over the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Dilly Hussain, who was the Business Marketing Director of Deo Volente Solicitors (the firm did not respond to confirm whether he still works at the firm), provoked uproar when he wrote on X that “This is the kind of welcome ALL Israelis should be receiving at the airports of Muslim-majority countries”.
Hussain was commenting on footage of an angry crowd hunting through a terminal in Dagestan for passengers landing on a flight from Tel Aviv.
This is the kind of welcome ALL Israelis should be receiving at the airports of Muslim-majority countries. https://t.co/3JpFRd2jZp
— Dilly Hussain (@DillyHussain88) October 29, 2023
Sections of the crowd, some carrying Palestinian flags, broke through doors in the terminal and ran onto the runway, while others set up checkpoints to locate Jews driving from the airport.
After blowback from X users who accused him of agitating for antisemitic lynch mobs, Hussain stated that “the day apartheid Israel goes to sleep permanently is the day Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea!”
He then added to his original post to describe how he was being targeted because he supported people protesting against Israeli arrivals “not to harm or attack them, but to express their opposition and anger at the occupying Zionist entity’s war crimes”.
In a video to further clarify his position, Hussain blamed a “smear campaign” and said the footage he had commented on didn’t show antisemitism or violence, and that when subsequent clips emerged which did, he had explained that he did not support violence against Jews.
MY RESPONSE TO THE RECENT SMEAR CAMPAIGN BY PRO-ISRAEL MEDIA AND COMMENTATORS. pic.twitter.com/RRAUsi2ndJ
— Dilly Hussain (@DillyHussain88) October 31, 2023
Legal LinkedIn, best known as a place for self-aggrandisement and backslapping, has become rather more fractious as people who joined to promote themselves now rail at their peers for publicly supporting either Palestine or Israel.
A Jewish CMS partner on LinkedIn was taken to task by a Bird & Bird associate for posting a video in which he described the trauma of the Hamas massacre and explained that Israel's response was "not a war about land, it is about our right to exist".
CMS’s Tel Aviv Managing Partner had "no regard for the treatment of Palestinians", said the 2Birds lawyer, who accused him of deleting her other comments.
ROF was contacted by another solicitor who was upset that a DLA Piper partner had reposted a defence of Israel on LinkedIn as the country began its military response, while a Fieldfisher recruiter and a solicitor for the Financial Conduct Authority each promoted a conspiracy theory on LinkedIn implying that Israel faked or exaggerated Hamas’s massacre.
The crisis represents a messaging challenge for firms, but some have spoken up to condemn antisemitism.
This week 27 of the biggest US firms signed an open letter demanding that law school deans stamp out vandalism, graffiti and “rallies calling for the death of Jews and the elimination of the state of Israel” reported on campuses.
While ROF is not aware of comparable conduct by law students in the UK, it’s been a different story in the States.
One of the open letter’s signatories, Davis Polk, has already withdrawn job offers from two students for their conduct, while Winston & Strawn binned its offer for a NYU student who voiced support for Hamas in a law faculty newsletter.
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