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DA Brooke Jenkins deletes social media post calling Palestinian rally ‘pro-Hamas’

A photo illustration shows District Attorney Brooke Jenkins and a tweet she posted describing a demonstration supporting Palestinians as a "pro-Hamas rally." | Source: The Standard

District Attorney Brooke Jenkins has deleted an incendiary tweet that she posted Sunday evening describing a widely attended march in support of Palestinians in Downtown San Francisco as a "pro-Hamas rally."

Jenkins wrote on the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, at around 7 p.m. Sunday that she was "acutely aware of and closely monitoring rising antisemitism in San Francisco and across the country" in light of the death and destruction that has unfolded over the past week in Israel and Gaza.

She then referred to the Saturday demonstration up Market Street in San Francisco, which was billed as an emergency protest for Gaza and drew thousands, in inflammatory terms.

"This weekend a pro-Hamas rally was held downtown, where 'Death 2 Israel,' amongst other hateful rhetoric was graffitied across building," Jenkins wrote.

Anti-Israel graffiti is seen on the the side of a Chase Bank near Market and Second streets on Sunday afternoon. | Source: George Kelly | The Standard

Jenkins went on to state that she believed the suspects who wrote the graffiti are "assumed to have been associated with the protest" despite not knowing their identities. She condemned the graffiti as an incitement of violence that she said was unacceptable and would not be tolerated.

"I denounce antisemitism, Islamophobia, and religious motivated hate in every form," she wrote.

The tweet has since been deleted, but not before the post had received at least 24,000 impressions as of late Sunday night.

Jenkins' comments drew condemnation from the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, one of the many groups that helped organize the rally. The center criticized Jenkins for saying without evidence that the rally was "associated with the militant Hamas organization" and that demonstrators were behind the anti-Israel graffiti.

“We are shocked and appalled by DA Jenkin’s hateful, libelous, and dangerous attacks on San Francisco residents, especially in this moment," the center's executive director, Lara Kiswani, said in the statement early Monday. "This is a clear incitement to violence against an already vulnerable community.”

Kiswani called for Jenkins to retract the "unhinged" statement and for an investigation into the post by Mayor London Breed and the Board of Supervisors.

By noon Monday, Jenkins had issued a lengthy statement explaining herself without offering an apology for her words or addressing why she characterized the demonstration as a "pro-Hamas" rally.

Jenkins said she deleted the tweet after hearing concerns from the Arab and Muslim communities "about the tweet and how it may be interpreted." She said there had been a rise in not only antisemitism but also Islamophobia in the U.S.

"I do not support violence," Jenkins wrote. "This is a time when we must all come together to stand against hate and violence of all kinds."

Media outlets that covered Saturday's demonstration up Market Street said attendees called attention to the plight of the civilians suffering in Gaza and opposed U.S. aid to Israel.

The death toll in Gaza has risen to at least 2,778 people as of Monday morning, according to the Associated Press. Israel began bombing the region after Hamas militants attacked Israel on Oct. 7 in an assault that killed more than 1,400. At least 199 hostages were also kidnapped and taken into Gaza.

The mayor said that police are investigating the anti-Israel graffiti.

"I support peaceful protests but on Saturday protestors vandalized buildings with disgusting calls to violence," Breed tweeted Monday.

She did not address the earlier comments from Jenkins.

Michael Barba can be reached at mbarba@sfstandard.com

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