Broward Public Defenders Fired For Calling Palestinans "Cockroaches" and "Swine" On Facebook

A pair of assistant public defenders who called Palestinians "cockroaches" and "swine" on Facebook have been fired, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Following a news item that claimed Palestinians were celebrating the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens, Gary Sheres and Bruce Raticoff took to Facebook to leave their derogatory comments.

But, because Facebook is a social media outlet and, therefore, people can see it (private settings, or not, that stuff gets out), the two got into hot water over their remarks. And now, Public Defender Howard Finkelstein is saying both men have been let go.

The whole thing unraveled when someone posted the news item of the celebrating Palestinians on a Facebook account. Sheres and Rosenberg were among the first to comment.

"They are filthy swine they don't eat," Sheres wrote. "Their ignorance to the world bewilders the dumbest people I have ever met."

Raticoff then chimed in with, "That's why the Palestinian people are considered the cockroaches of the world. Reprehensible and despicable with utter disregard for civility and humanity. Burn them to the ground."

Sheres then "liked" Raticoff's comment.

While some agreed with the sentiments, other commenters accused Sheres and Raticoff of racism and ignorance.

Sheres defended himself by saying he wasn't speaking about Palestinians as a whole, but rather just the people in the news item specifically.

Raticoff's excuse seemed even thinner, saying someone else had used his Facebook account to leave the comment.

"Someone posted on my account, somehow," he said, via the Sentinel. "I have an idea. But that's my business and no one else's. I'm pretty upset about it. Believe me it'll be addressed. I will deal with it. It's not me but I have a pretty good idea where it came from."

Apparently, their boss didn't buy the explanations, and let the two men go.

"Time for us to learn and grow and draw the line in the sand firmly that as public defenders we have a higher calling and we cannot engage in hate speech that interferes with the mission of this office which is equal justice for all,'' Finkelstein said via an email statement.

Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph. Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories