She also claimed laws are "white supremacy" and attacked the "fascist" NYPD and U.S. military.
Fatima Mousa Mohammed, selected by the 2023 class to speak at the May 12 CUNY Law ceremony, accused Israel of "indiscriminately" murdering Palestinians and encouraging "lynch mobs." She also celebrated resistance to "Zionism around the world" while lauding the school's support of the anti-Israel BDS movement.
The law school initially took the speech down from YouTube but released it in full last week following public outcry from both pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel groups.
"I want to celebrate CUNY Law as one of the few, if not the only law school to make a public statement defending the rights of its students to organize and speak out against Israeli settler colonialism," Mohammed said from the podium.
"That this is the law school that passed and endorsed BDS on a student and faculty level recognizing that…as Israel continues to indiscriminately rain bullets and bombs on worshipers, murdering the old, the young, attacking even funerals and graveyards, as it encourages lynch mobs to target Palestinian homes and businesses as it imprisons its children…that our silence is no longer acceptable," she said.
"And," the future lawyer continued, "we did all of this in spite of the racism, in spite of the selective activism the self-serving interests of CUNY central, an institution that continues to fail us, that continues to train and cooperate with the fascist NYPD, the military, that continues to train IDF soldiers to carry out that same violence globally…"
In another part of her speech, Mohammed, who also called for a "revolution" to challenge "oppressive" institutions in America, spoke out against the treatment of "Palestinian political prisoners like HLF in U.S. prisons." HLF, or the Holy Land Foundation, was a Texas-based charity that "existed to support Hamas," a designated terror group by the U.S. State Department, according to the DOJ.
The speaker later urged her graduating class of lawyers to dismantle capitalism. "The joy and excitement that fills the auditorium... may it be the fuel for the fight against capitalism, racism, imperialism and Zionism around the world," she concluded.
Prominent American Jewish groups and allies widely condemned Mohammed's speech, with some accusing her of "trading in antisemitic tropes."" In contrast, others demanded CUNY Law lose its taxpayer funding for hosting the event.
The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of New York called the speech "incendiary anti-Israel propaganda" in a statement, noting that Mohammed's address comes just one year after the law school came under fire for hosting Nerdeen Kiswani, then President of CUNY Law's Students for Justice in Palestine, as the 2022 commencement speaker.
"This particular commencement speech cast aside the principle of seeking truth in a shameless attempt to vilify CUNY's constructive engagement with Israel and the New York Jewish community and to denigrate Israel's supporters on campus while trading in antisemitic tropes," the group said. "We strongly encourage CUNY to revise its guidelines surrounding commencement speeches."
"Graduations should be a place for all — not a time to denigrate students' identities," The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) wrote earlier this month while retweeting the JCRC of New York. "We are appalled to see such an egregious display of hostility toward 'Zionists' (which is how many Jews see themselves) and Israel in CUNY Law's commencement address. This is yet another example of the harm Jewish students experience on campus."
Former New York Congressman Lee Zeldin tweeted, "Raging antisemitism has fully consumed the City University of New York. Until the administration is overhauled and all Jewish students and faculty are welcome again, taxpayer funding must be immediately halted."
"This is exactly why I am finalizing legislation to strip universities of their funding if they engage in and promote anti-semitism," Rep. Mike Lawler, R-N.Y., said while retweeting Zeldin. "CUNY should be ashamed of itself — and should lose any federal funds it currently receives."
SAFE CUNY, a group that advocates for Zionist Jews within the CUNY system, shared the entire 13-minute-long video of Mohammed's speech on Twitter.
"Here in its entirety is the vitriolic, evil, antisemitic @CUNYLaw commencement address from Jew hater Fatima Mohammed," they wrote. "Unimaginably, it is even worse than last year's hate spewed by Nerdeen Kiswani. No wonder CUNY Law, under state investigation, tried to hide this video."
New York City Councilwoman Inna Vernikov condemned the school for hosting the speech.
"If anyone had doubts on what's going on at @CUNY, and if hearing we held did not convince you, here it is: Vile, unabashed hatred for America, Israel, NYPD, & democracy," she tweeted. "I can't imagine sitting in the audience as a graduate. These are NYC's future lawyers."
The Lawfare Project Senior Counsel Gerard Filitti tweeted in response to Vernikov, "The Jew-hatred @CUNY is systemic, all the more so at the law school. A reporting portal is a necessary first step, and having the foresight to withhold funding is one way to bring CUNY to the table," he wrote. "What Jewish students and faculty are experiencing is a civil rights issue that perhaps can only be addressed by the courts."
"Vile anti-American & anti-Israel speech promoting hate," New York City Council Member Ari Kagan tweeted in response to a user wondering, "How is the education at @CUNY @CUNYLaw different than Hamas? @CUNY @CUNYLaw is dependent on State & Federal taxes. We must divest now."
Kagan added, "Totally unacceptable graduation speech for taxpayers funded institution. @CUNY & @CUNYLaw should immediately condemn this hateful speech & take all steps necessary to address such dangerous rhetoric!"
New York State Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein tweeted, "This hate-filled and dangerous speech has been brought to you by @CUNY and paid for by New York taxpayers. Keep this in mind next time our elected leaders highlight their commitment to fighting antisemitism."
American-Israeli journalist Emily Schrader responded, "'Hey Siri, show me what obsessive antisemitism looks like.' Siri: *plays Fatima Mohammed's lie-ridden CUNY law commencement speech* This is an embarrassment to CUNY and their funding should be pulled. CUNY emboldens violent Jew hatred that should never be tolerated," she wrote.
Former speechwriter for Israel's Permanent Mission to the United Nations Aviva Klompas wrote, "City University of New York law student takes the podium to deliver a tirade of abuse against Israel. She's the product of a @CUNY education that portrays Israel as a caricature of evil rather than a thriving democracy facing down near impossible challenges."
Former U.S. Deputy Special Envoy to Combat Antisemitism during the Trump administration, Ellie Cohanim, also weighed in.
"NYC taxpayers: get your voices heard to @CUNY—we don't want to underwrite Jew-hate!" she wrote.
The New York State Young Republicans Club condemned the law school for "providing a platform for hate."
"We hope that @NYSYD and @CollegeDemsNY will join us in condemning this disgusting and hateful language," the group tweeted. "If not, their silence will speak volumes."
Asked to address the backlash to the speech, CUNY Law told Fox News Digital in a statement that "[S]tudent speakers… offered congratulatory remarks and their own individual perspectives on advocating for social justice. As with all such commencement remarks, they reflect the voices of those individuals."
Mohammed's speech comes amid antisemitism allegations among students and faculty at CUNY schools. The U.S. Department of Education launched an investigation into allegations of harassment and discrimination against Jewish students at CUNY's Brooklyn College earlier this year.