StandWithUs is aware of horrendous and flagrantly antisemitic statements appearing on the social media accounts of Los Angeles attorney Farhad Khorasani. One particularly alarming post read, “The Jew anywhere is an existential threat to Aryans, muslims, and Iranians everywhere. Hitler has proved that he knew these terrorist semites very well. Hitler was right, we need a new Hitler.” Another post, referencing U.S. Representative Mary Miller’s disturbing inclusion of Hitler during a recent speech at the United States Capitol, stated: “[s]he said: ‘Hitler was right,’ now she is under fire. The freedom of speech is under assault by the Jewish-Israeli lobbies and their allies in the US, including the big techs.” A third comment read, “P.S: The main enemy of the human race and the world is Israel and the satanic cartel behind it. Watch out for an Israeli terrorist assassination soon.” A statement posted to Mr. Khorasani’s Instagram account on January 20, 2021, acknowledged that a complaint, apparently related to the antisemitic rhetoric seen on his social media accounts, was lodged with and subsequently dismissed by the State Bar of California.
StandWithUs commends Southwestern Law School Dean Susan Westerberg Prager for the law school’s strong condemnation of these statements.
While such bigoted and hateful comments have no place in civil society, let alone to have allegedly been made by a member of good standing in the legal profession, StandWithUs recognizes that these alleged statements are protected hate speech under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Section 2 of the California Constitution. We also understand the State Bar of California’s apparent rationale for not punishing an attorney for purported statements, as they would not, by themselves, run afoul of any rules of professional conduct applicable to licensed California attorneys. For instance, the statements do not appear to have been made in the context of an attorney representing a client, in which case they would likely violate several State Bar rules.
On Sunday, January 24, 2021, a statement appeared on Mr. Khorasani’s Instagram account expressing an apology to the Jewish community for the antisemitic posts and claiming that his social media accounts were hacked. If this is in fact what happened, we encourage Mr. Khorasani to use this as a teachable moment for himself and his thousands of online followers about how easily hatred—in this case antisemitism and bigotry—can be disseminated and amplified online.