Who Is Ryna Workman? New York Law Student Group Votes to Remove Non-Binary President Who Cheered Hamas Attack and Called It 'Necessary'

On Wednesday, members of the Student Bar Association issued a statement clarifying that they did not "write, approve or see the message" before they were published.

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The NYU Law School Bar Association is voting on whether to remove their president following her controversial statement suggesting that Hamas actions against Israel were "necessary" and justified. Ryna Workman, 24, equated the acts of the internationally-recognized terror group with "Palestinian resistance" and asserted that Israel "bears full responsibility."

The backlash came a day after Workman shared a statement accusing Israel of engaging in "state-sanctioned violence" and claiming that Israel held "complete responsibility" for the coordinated terror attacks, which killed more than 1,200 Israelis Saturday. The non-binary student now faces removal from the SBA presidency as the group revealed that 'multiple students' have received 'death threats' due to her article.

In the Line of Fire

Ryna Workman
Ryna Workman Facebook

On Wednesday, members of the Student Bar Association issued a statement clarifying that they did not "write, approve or see the message" before they were published. They said that Workman, who identifies as non-binary, did not represent their collective viewpoint.

The SBA board initiated the process to remove Workman from the presidency, which involves two upcoming hearings later this month. The statement also highlighted the distressing situation where students were being subjected to doxxing, harassment, and death threats following the publication of the message.

Ryna Workman
The message published by Ryna Workman suggesting that Hamas actions against Israel were “necessary” and justified. X

"Multiple students have received significant targeted harassment and death threats," they said.

"We are horrified by these vile personal attacks and threats to students' safety. The doxxing of any NYU Law student is unacceptable and disturbing."

The group released a second statement on Wednesday to emphasize their condemnation of Hamas violence.

"As the violence in Israel persists, and we continue to struggle with feelings of anger and sorrow at the tragic loss of innocent lives, we need to make several things abundantly clear on behalf of the NYU Law Board of Trustees and our Law School as a whole," they said.

Ryna Workman
Ryna Workman X

"NYU Law unequivocally condemns the recent terrorist acts and the atrocities perpetrated by Hamas in Israel.

"The murder and kidnapping of civilians, and the use of sexual violence and the separation and torture of children, are all abominable and atrocious.

"We want to say, loud and clear, to our community: Any statement that does not recognize this brutality does not reflect the values of NYU Law."

Students in Troubled Waters

New York University itself distanced from Workman's message on Tuesday, explicitly denouncing it. The university emphasized that the "indiscriminate killing of civilians and hostage-taking, including children and the elderly, is reprehensible."

Ryna Workman
The letter issued by the Student Bar Associating clarifying that they did not “write, approve or see the message” before they were published. X

Workman's newsletter ultimately led to the loss of a promising career opportunity at Chicago's Winston & Strawn firm, as the firm retracted a job offer amidst escalating online outrage.

"Such hatred! Why? Anybody displaying such moral and emotional deficiencies should not be let anywhere near a legal job," one person commented on X.

"Supporting crimes against humanity should be a disqualify [sic] character flaw for any state bar. Let all state bars know," wrote another.

In addition to attending NYU, Workman completed their undergraduate studies at the University of South Carolina and also participated in an exchange program at the University of Warwick in the UK, where they focused on classes related to international law.

Ryna Workman
Ryna Workman X

The student, hailing from Simpsonville, South Carolina, and using the pronouns they/them, shared the following message in their weekly newsletter to fellow Student Bar Association students: 'Hi y'all.'

"This week, I want to express, first and foremost, my unwavering and absolute solidarity with Palestinians in their resistance against oppression toward liberation and self-determination.

"Israel bears full responsibility for this tremendous loss of life.

"This regime of state-sanctioned violence created the conditions that made resistance necessary."

Referencing Hamas, Workman said: "I will not condemn Palestinian resistance."