Rantz: Mayor’s giggling daughter exposed tearing down Israeli hostage flyers

Nov 10, 2023, 12:32 PM | Updated: Nov 22, 2023, 7:37 pm

redmond mayor...

Redmond Mayor Angela Birney (Photo from the City of Redmond)

(Photo from the City of Redmond)

Redmond Mayor Angela Birney’s adult daughter was reportedly recorded giggling while tearing down flyers showing Israelis taken hostage by Hamas terrorists. The video has gone viral, with commenters demanding she be removed from college. The mayor isn’t responding to the incident, instead, turning her X account to private to avoid criticism.

The viral video shows a woman, identified as PhD student Rachel Birney, tearing down flyers from a building’s announcement wall at the University of Southern California (USC). The man who is filming asks, “Why are you taking those down?” as Rachel tears down over eight flyers. When she started, she already had a handful of torn-down flyers. She turns to the camera, smiles, and says, “hey.” As she continues to tear down the flyers, she giggles.

“Why are you laughing? That’s not funny,” the man said in the video. She mumbles in response, but you can hear her say “genocide.” She reportedly said, “Genocide is happening there.”

“It’s not genocide. They’re kidnapped individuals,” the man responds.

Mayor’s daughter identified as viral anti-Semite

Rachel Birney was identified by nonpartisan StopAntisemitism, a US-based grassroots watchdog organization exposing individuals and groups spreading anti-Jewish and anti-Israel hate. They’ve been at the forefront of identifying and shaming radicals, tearing down hostage posters, flashing swastikas, or yelling invective at or about Jews.

USC released a statement about the viral video, vowing to investigate.

“We are aware of a social media post of a person removing posters from what appears to be a building on our campus. We know this is upsetting to many of you and encourage everyone in the USC community to respect others’ views/act with civility towards each other,” the statement to X says. “We are looking into this but are prohibited from providing additional information due to student privacy laws. You can learn more about our resources, reassurances and answers to help you navigate.”

It’s unclear when the video was filmed, but it was first posted Nov. 8.

Mayor remains silent

The newly re-elected mayor did not respond to multiple requests for comment. She reportedly warned colleagues yesterday that the video may go viral, indicating she knew about the incident before it was widely spread.

Mayor Burney turned her X account to private as people were asking her for comment. On her public Facebook page, users are calling out her silence. They’re also wondering where her daughter learned her hate.

“You have no place in government. She had to learn to hate Jews somewhere. Kidnapped children. Why?” one user asked. Another noted, “You raised a terror supporter antisemitic daughter. Shame on both of you.” And one asked, “Why is your daughter ripping down posters of Israeli hostages? Are you complacent in her Jew hate?”

“Your daughter is supporting people that put babies in ovens, beheaded children, rape children and women, kidnap holocaust survivors and elderly, torture and abuse innocent civilians. Did you raise your child with these values?” another user asks.

It’s unclear if local media will call attention to this incident. Previously, local television and the Seattle Times have intentionally sanitized pro-Hamas rallies calling for the end of the Jewish state in an effort to protect the activists from criticism. In an exclusive interview with the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, the Consul General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest, Ambassador Marco Sermoneta called media coverage “tone-deaf.”

More from Jason Rantz: PNW Consul General of Israel calls out ‘tone deaf’ media over ‘two sides’ coverage

Why bigots tear down flyers

Anti-Semites around the country are being filmed tearing down flyers. Many of the confrontations are going viral. In Seattle last week, a woman was caught near Seattle University pulling flyers down, calling it “Israeli propaganda.”

“So you’re pro-Hamas?” the woman filming tells the anti-Semite.

“Yes, I am b****,” the anti-Semite replied.

Radical anti-Semites have accused Israel of committing genocide in Gaza as the country targets Hamas terrorists. Hate mongers and critics have been tearing down the posters of hostages, pretending it’s propaganda. Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Avi Mayer called out this practice in an editorial for his newspaper.

“Those who tear down posters bearing the faces of 10-month-old Kfir Bibas or 84-year-old Ditza Heiman, 13-year-old Alma Or or 59-year-old Michel Nisenbaum cannot countenance the notion that Jews can be victims – or that others might see them as such. To them, Jews are invariably evil, always the aggressors. There is no such thing as an innocent Jew,” he wrote.

Update (11/22/23): Redmond Mayor Angela Birney released a statement via email Wednesday, Nov. 22 apologizing “for those affected by my daughter’s actions.”

The beginning of the statement states the following:

Regarding the incident involving my daughter, Rachel Birney, a student at USC. I have the following statement:

I want to start with an apology to those affected by my daughter’s actions. I don’t condone her behavior, which surfaced and
intensified our community members’ fear and distrust.

As a parent, seeing your child learn this way is painful. Still, I know that Rachel has turned it into an opportunity to connect with local faith leaders, further educate herself about the long and complex history of the region, and better understand how her actions are viewed as antisemitic.

Above all, I would like to make one thing very clear: this is a mistake she made and not an action rooted in hatred or behavior we engage in at home. All acts of antisemitism and hatred are unacceptable.

 Previous update: Rachel Birney released a statement Tuesday apologizing for “causing pain and hurt.”

“Although it was not my intention to be hateful, my actions have offended and made members of the USC community feel unsafe, and for that I take full responsibility,” she wrote as part of her statement.

Listen to The Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3-7 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast. Follow him on X, formerly known as TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Rantz: Mayor’s giggling daughter exposed tearing down Israeli hostage flyers