A University of Massachusetts Amherst lecturer who has refused to condemn Hamas is offering free legal representation to anti-Israel protesters at the school, including those who called for terrorism against Israelis and yelled "kill yourself" at police officers.
During a Wednesday "sit-in" protest held on the university's campus, trial attorney and lecturer Rachel Weber offered legal support to student protesters who planned to be arrested for trespassing near the chancellor's office. "You do not need to worry about finding a lawyer," Weber said before distributing $1,000 in bail money to the students. Police went on to arrest dozens of protesters, who during the event chanted "Long Live the Intifada." Protesters also clashed with police, yelling, "coward," "pigs," "kill yourself," and "get a real job" to the officers who responded to the scene.
Weber's support for the terrorist-sympathizing students comes as anti-Semitic demonstrations explode on U.S. college campuses. In many cases, professors and other faculty members have contributed to those demonstrations. At Cornell University, for example, history professor Russell Rickford told a crowd of students at an anti-Israel rally that Hamas's Oct. 7 assault on the Jewish state was "exhilarating" and "energizing."
Weber herself has refused to condemn Hamas. Just days before the "sit-in" protest, the University of Massachusetts Amherst lecturer debated students during an anti-Israel rally that saw attendees celebrate the "historic win" of Hamas's attack. When a supporter of the Jewish state asked Weber if she condemns terrorism, she replied, "It's not a yes or no question."
New Canary Mission profile. Rachel Weber, @jvplive organizer & lecturer at @UMassAmherst refused to condemn Hamas’s terror attacks when asked by a pro-Israel student. Instead, Weber said, 'It’s not a yes or no question." https://t.co/fhsZDxjF0V pic.twitter.com/5myeTaj5nf
— Canary Mission (@canarymission) October 30, 2023
Weber, who teaches a class at the university on "abolition theory," did not return a request for comment. The university in a statement sent to the Washington Free Beacon said that while the "sit-in" protesters do not "align with the university's publicly stated positions and policies," the school "recognizes the right of students and faculty to demonstrate on university premises."
Weber has a long history of working with anti-Israel organizations. She is a member of the National Lawyers Guild, a self-described "progressive bar association" that is a "proud member" of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a terror-tied group that leads boycott campaigns against the Jewish state. Weber also touts her work with "Palestine Legal," a legal defense group that after Hamas's attack accused Israel of genocide and "war crimes." The group also condemned "elected officials" for "irresponsibly accus[ing] protesters for Palestinian rights of anti-Semitism and support for terrorism."
Weber, however, has defended Hamas and its barbaric attack on the Jewish state. During her viral exchange with a pro-Israel student, Weber argued that one's perception of the attack depends on "when you start the clock."
"Reality all begins when you start the clock. And so, if you start the clock on Saturday, the reality is going to look one way," Weber told the student. "If you start the clock, you know, like, weeks prior, it's going to sound a different way. If you start the clock in 1948, it looks a different way. We have to acknowledge that." Hamas's attack left at least 1,400 Israelis dead, including innocent women and children.
Weber obtained the bail money she distributed to student protesters at the "sit-in" protest from the Western Mass Bailout Project, a group that posts bail for accused criminals "without judgment with respect to charges."
"We are led by abolitionist policies and believe in the importance of centering the voices and experiences of those who are currently and formerly incarcerated," the group says on its website. "Together, we can build a future without mass incarceration."
The Western Mass Bailout Project did not return a request for comment.