One of the two lawyers accused of trying to torch an NYPD cruiser during protests that engulfed Brooklyn over the weekend spent a summer in the West Bank as a fellow and intern with radical Palestinian activist organizations.
Two attorneys, Colinford Mattis, 32, and Urooj Rahman, 31, reportedly were caught attempting to distribute homemade molotov cocktail devices to protesters who were clashing with police near the 88th Precinct in Fort .
“Rahman attempted to distribute Molotov cocktails to the witness and others so that those individuals could likewise use the incendiary devices in furtherance of more destruction and violence,” a witness was quoted as saying to authorities in a detention memo from federal prosecutors for the Eastern District of New York.
Rahman was captured in a photo obtained by the New York Daily News wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh on her face and holding a makeshift Molotov cocktail. The keffiyeh, a chequered black and white scarf, has become a symbol of Palestinian nationalism.
Rahman is a graduate from Fordham University law school. In 2014, she did a summer fellowship internship program at the Israel based Mada Al-Carmel’s Arab Center for Applied Social Research in a partnership program with Palestine Works.
The Mada Al-Carmel center is heavily financed by George Soros through his Open Society Foundations.
NGO Monitor lists some of the radical organization’s political advocacy. The center co-authored the “Haifa Declaration” which calls for a “change in the definition of the State of Israel from a Jewish state” and accuses Israel of “exploiting” the Holocaust “at the expense of the Palestinian people.”
The September 2011 edition of Mada al Carmel’s journal Jadal focused on “Boycotting Israel: Between Theory and Practice.”
As part of her Soros-backed fellowship at the Mada Al-Carmel center, Rahman spent a week with the radical Palestine Work organization.
“Each day includes presentations and workshops led by attorneys and human rights advocates, as well as field visits to human rights flashpoints, such as East Jerusalem, Hebron, the Jordan Valley,” the site states.
Rahman wrote an article for Fordham’s human rights newsletter upon her return to the U.S., describing attending a flashpoint anti-Israel protest against Israeli troops.
The article, titled, “Witnessing occupation, apartheid and resistance in Palestine/Israel” may be instructive in understanding her mindset and alleged criminal actions over the weekend.
She wrote (emphasis added):
I witnessed this oppression quite vividly on my initial visit to the West Bank. I was greeted by heavily armed Israel Defense Force soldiers (aka the Israeli Occupational Force) ushering people through Qalandia Checkpoint, one of the main points of entry into Ramallah in the West Bank from Jerusalem and a potent symbol of Israeli occupation. While taking part in one of the largest protests in the West Bank since the second intifadah this past July, I saw how peaceful protests at Qalandia (and other places) can turn into violent clashes when IDF soldiers provoke violence using tear gas, stun grenades, rubber-coated steel bullets and, often, live ammunition at civilians exercising their free speech. Over 40,000 strong, this protest was composed of youth, families, women, men, children and grandparents, all of whom marched together from the center of Ramallah to Qalandia checkpoint on the road to Jerusalem. What started out as a peaceful demonstration of resistance to the occupation and in solidarity with fellow Palestinians in Gaza—who were at this time facing aerial bombardment while under an occupational blockade with nowhere to escape—turned into an all-out clash. Young Palestinians were forced to resort to throwing rocks, their only form of self-defense, as IDF soldiers fired tear gas and skin-penetrating bullets into a peaceful crowd.”
Rahman expressed similar sentiments about the U.S. In a 2015 article for the same newsletter, she claims “militarized over-policing goes hand-in-hand with the gentrification of neighborhoods in New York City and throughout the country.” Rahman argues that “the process of gentrification runs its course with the help of institutionalized racism,” aided by police targeting of black and brown communities to pave the way for proponents of gentrification.
Rahman called for an “overhaul of policing in America” to end “gentrification’s violent effects on communities of colors,” echoing the central demand of some of the protest movement over George Floyd’s death.
Appearing before Judge Margo Brodie, Salmah Rizvi, a former high-level Obama intel official reportedly posted $250,000 bail to secure the release of Rahman.
Rahman reportedly had to return to federal custody after the U.S. Court of Appeals decided to reverse the decision by the District Court to allow her to post bail.
When she first posted bail, Rahman’s friend, Rizvi, told the court, “I earn $255,000 a year.” “Urooj Rahman is my best friend and I am an associate at the law firm Ropes & Gray in Washington, D.C.”
According to a report from Law360, the judge noted the strong evidence against Rahman, who was additionally accused of distributing incendiary devices to other rioters, but agreed to grant her bail due to the “willingness of family and friends to sign on as suretors.”
The Washington Free Beacon reported that Rizvi “served in intelligence posts in the Defense and State Departments during the Obama administration, where her high-value work would often inform the President’s Daily Briefs.”
In a recent interview with the Gothamist news site, Rizvi said she met Rahman in 2014 “while they were at different law schools, and shared an interest in helping refugees.” She called Rhaman “the best friend anyone can ask for…she’s a compassionate listener and she has an empathetic heart.”
Rizvi said Rahman interned at the Center for Constitutional Rights and has attended protests in the past but believes in non-violent resistance. “She’s never promoted violence and she’d never harm another human being,” she added
The Center for Constitutional Rights where Rahman interned, is heavily financed by George Soros through his Open Society Foundations. The Center is a major hub for anti-Israel legal activism seeking to undermine Israel’s legitimacy.
NGO Monitor summarized the CCR’s extreme bias against Israel thusly:
“Despite CCR’s claimed commitment to strengthening international human rights, a review of the NGO’s work suggests otherwise. Although there are certain areas in which CCR has followed its mandate, the disproportionate criticism of Israel and disregard for the context of terror severely detracts from the organization’s integrity. It is particularly disturbing that for an organization committed to legal frameworks and protecting human rights, in the case of Israel, CCR consistently applies double standards, ignoring the abuses committed against Israeli civilians. By doing so, CCR promotes injustice, undermines international law, contributes to a culture of impunity by groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, and advances the demonization of Israel.”
Rhaman, and Rizvi both took part in the radical Palestine Works 2014, summer week-long fellowship program together.
She participated with Rhaman during the “human rights flashpoints” incident, which turned into a violent riot against the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
At the end of the weeklong Palestine Works program, Rizvi pledged to start the first chapter of Students For Justice in Palestine at NYU. (SJP)
SJP chapters across the U.S. promote the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel on college campuses. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says these chapters “regularly demonize Jewish students who identify as Zionists or proud supporters of the State of Israel.”