A director on the taxpayer-funded Bronx Defenders Office despatched out an e mail blasting Israel, the “US empire” and even the NYPD amid the continued dispute with Palestinians in Gaza — likening the state of affairs to “sanctioned genocide” in opposition to blacks and native Americans in America.
Shannon Cumberbatch, director of Bronx Defenders’ Office of Equity and Institutional Transformation, despatched the May 14 e mail from her work e mail handle to her “anti-oppression team.”
Bronx Defenders has acquired $262 million in metropolis funding over the previous decade to offer providers to accused criminals and different poor defendants and residents in legal proceedings, in response to information compiled by Comptroller Scott Stringer’s workplace.
The Bronx legal providers group was additionally awarded $25 million in funding from the state during the last decade, information present.
In the e-mail blast, Cumberbatch mentioned Bronx Defenders stood in “solidarity with our comrades in Colombia, Brazil and Palestine who are fighting rampant state violence by militarized police forces that the US Empire helps to train and support financially and otherwise, while disproportionately targeting black, brown and native people in their countries, just as those forces do in the United States.”
Cumberbatch went on to “highlight the suffering of our Palestinian colleagues and comrades whose loved ones continue fighting for their survival and security” throughout the closing days of Ramadan.
She then slams Israel navy actions whereas downplaying Hamas’ launching of missiles into the Jewish State from Gaza. She particularly talked about the “raid” of the Al Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.
“The present reality of the displacement, disenfranchisement and military violence happening abroad is reminiscent of the settler colonialism, state violence and sanctioned genocide weaponized against Native and people of color in the United States,” Cumberbatch mentioned.
She additionally rips the New York City Police Department for working intently with Israeli safety forces.
“From the US financing of Colombian and Israeli military forces, the collaboration between NYPD and law enforcement in Israel sharing tactics of surveillance and suppression, to the solidarity of protesters from Ferguson to Palestine sharing strategies for surviving state violence, our struggle for freedom is international and our liberties are intertwined,” she mentioned.
But a lawyer who works for Bronx Defenders was outraged by the anti-Israel, anti-US invective in Cumberbatch’s e mail and forwarded it to former Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who heads the group Americans in opposition to Antisemitism.
“Personally, I don’t care for anyone’s anti-Jewish views, but when a government-funded organization offers their unsolicited opinion on foreign policy so as to increase divisions here at home then we must demand accountability,” Hikind advised The Post.
“And this isn’t the first time they indulged in objectionable behavior, so why does New York City, among other governmental agencies, keep funding them to the tune of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars annually?”
Bronx Defenders got here below hearth in 2014 when two of its staffers appeared in a vile on-line rap video that urged black folks to kill NYPD cops.
A metropolis Department of Investigating probe issued a scathing report in 2015 concluding that Bronx Defender staffers lied about their position within the video, together with filming of it of their workplace.
The head of the Bronx Defenders workplace defended Cumberbatch’s e-screed.
“This email was part of an ongoing internal discussion about how events around us impact our clients and our employees and was a communication that, as a Jewish person, I endorsed at the time and stand by today,” Bronx Defenders’ Executive Director Justine Olderman mentioned in a press release to The Post.
“Our naming and amplifying the struggling of Palestinian folks in an e mail to workers shouldn’t be mistaken for organizational indifference to the expertise of individuals in Israel who’ve been residing in concern and have misplaced family members, to the rising menace of anti-semitism at house and overseas, or to the historical past of Jewish oppression.
“Instead, it should be understood as an intentional effort to center the experiences of BIPOC and other marginalized people within our Bronx Defender community and beyond. It should also be understood as an intentional effort to raise awareness about the way that the issues we work on at The Bronx Defenders are connected to larger events and movements in the country and across the globe,” added Olderman.