Photo Credit: Matt Baume
California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Last Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom an “open letter to California’s Muslim, Palestinian American and Arab American communities,” declaring, “While we continue to call for peace and freedom in the Middle East, here in California, my administration remains focused on building a California for All.”

The governor’s message was mainly intended to allay the fears of Californian Muslims and Arabs, as was clear from his statement that followed, “we are fighting back against Islamophobia and Anti-Arab hate––working to keep communities safe while uplifting Muslim and Arab American heritage and culture,” and yet, one couldn’t avoid the notion that there’s more there, seeing as he chose to conclude his message with:


“As we chart a path toward a California for All, I ask that we continue the dialogue we’ve already begun. I am committed to deepening our partnerships at every level of state government, including through the California Civil Rights Department’s ongoing anti-hate work. Let us confront hate together.

“To every Muslim, Palestinian American, and Arab American who calls California home: please know that you belong here.”

But it may be too soon for the hordes of tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of Gaza’s teeming shore, to gather on the beach and cry out: “California, here I come!” Because Governor Newsom’s open letter to the Arabs is not so much about inviting their cousins over, and more about the November elections and keeping them loyal to the Democratic ticket.


Governor Newsom boasted: “Building on our anti-hate agenda, in October, I authorized the immediate expansion of funds for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program to bolster safety and security at places of worship across the state—including mosques, churches, and synagogues—amid heightened fears of violence at the state’s religious institutions.”

He added, “I’ve also worked closely with colleges and universities to promote student safety, mental health, and belonging in the face of rising reports of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bias incidents. After I convened a meeting with leaders of the UC, CSU, and community colleges, and after I wrote a letter urging universities to enforce campus safety policies and cultivate spaces for affinity and dialogue, we are now seeing progress across the state’s universities.”

Here’s the thing: According to the Anti-Defamation League, there has been a 337% increase in antisemitism since December 2023.

As San Diego Assemblymember Chris Ward put it last month, “Just taking a casual glance at news headlines, public comment at meetings, and social media since October 7th provides plenty of evidence of the accelerated trend of antisemitic hate above previously unacceptable levels. It is sadly easy for those outside of the Jewish community to ignore or dismiss, despite there being plenty of cases of hate acts in our own county which have very real-world consequences including changes to student life and costly responsive measures at faith or community center locations.”

But the governor’s declaration mentions Jews only once, and they are lumped together with “African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and LGBTQ+ Californians,” who are “all experiencing greater vitriol and hate.”

Gavin Newsom is all about making nice with the Arabs. His version of the data reads: “Hateful acts targeting those who are or are perceived to be Muslim or Arab American are becoming more common. In California, reported anti-Muslim bias events rose 44.4% from 2021 to 2022. Reports also indicate a spike in reported anti-Muslim and anti-Arab incidents following the October 7th terrorist attack on Israel.”


“My heart broke when Wadea al-Fayoume, a 6-year-old child, was stabbed to death in Chicago—he and his mother viciously attacked because they were Palestinian and Muslim,” said the governor. “I grieved not just for Wadea and his family but for all who felt less safe after that devastating tragedy, who wondered whether they or their children might also be targeted because of their Muslim faith or Palestinian heritage. This sort of horror doesn’t just inflict violence on one life or one family—it tears at the safety and belonging of whole communities.”

He continued: “Here in California, too, we’ve seen bigotry rear its ugly head. In November, an Arab Muslim student at Stanford University was injured in a hit-and-run by a driver who is alleged to have shouted hateful vitriol as he sped away, an incident that authorities are rightfully investigating as a possible hate crime. We’ve heard too many stories of violence and discrimination—too many Californians fear being treated differently in school, excluded at work, or risking harassment just by walking down the street.”

OK, is he kidding us? On March 15, the Jewish Federation Los Angeles sent a letter to California’s university system, co-signed by 38 organizations, including ADL California, AJC California, Agudath Israel of California, Berkeley Hillel, Holocaust Museum LA, Hillel at UCLA, Simon Wiesenthal Center and StandWithUs, warning: “Since October 7, 2023, there has been a 2000% increase in antisemitic incidents on college campuses across California compared to the same period last year, according to the ADL.”

Many USC campuses have witnessed hundreds of protests that involved antisemitic cries, leaflets, banners, skirmishes, and even attacks on Jewish students by Arab students.

In early March, Israeli dentist Benjamin Harouni, an Orthodox Jew, was murdered by his patient, Mohammed Abdulkareem. In early November 2023, Paul Kessler, 69, was attacked and killed by pro-Hamas protesters. Why is the governor ignoring a 2000% rise in antisemitism in favor of a 42% rise in anti-Arab phenomena?

The governor is not interested in the truth, or reality. Check out his brave declaration: “Our efforts must continue amidst the current conflict in the Middle East. On top of the pain of discrimination and fear of violence, I have also heard from Muslim, Arab American, and Palestinian American leaders that many fear speaking out against the deaths of civilians in Gaza.”

Where and when has anyone in the US been penalized for protesting the death of civilians in Gaza? There is no such reality. But this fake declaration offers Newsom an opportunity to declare, “None of us should be able to witness the deaths of thousands upon thousands of civilians in Gaza without our hearts breaking. The scale of suffering in Gaza is so vast that it seems few Palestinians across the world have been spared personal loss.”

He mentions Hamas only once in his entire diatribe: “I also unequivocally denounce Hamas’s terrorist attack against Israel.”

Gee, thanks, Governor.

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