(Sacramento) - The California Legislative Jewish Caucus condemns the outrageous death threats made by Imam Mahmoud Harmoush at the Islamic Center of Riverside and Imam Ammar Shahin at the Davis Islamic Center. While we appreciate that Imam Shahin apologized for his remarks, the call for the extermination of an entire group of people is morally repugnant. The Imams’ statements are harmful to the positive relationship the Muslim and Jewish communities have built in the United States.
Under prodding from the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, the California State University chancellor’s office says it will take a more active role in the often challenging plight of Jewish students at San Francisco State University.
The chancellor’s office has named a liaison to monitor the campus climate for Jewish students at SFSU, and CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White has committed to working with SFSU to create some sort of “statement of principles on intolerance,” state Assemblyman Marc Levine, chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, said on July 14.
The California Legislative Jewish Caucus, founded in 2014, includes members of the California Senate and Assembly; it now stands at 16 members, with eight from each legislative body. The group’s goal is to “be a Jewish voice for justice, equality and progress” and to “serve as a resource to, and advocate on behalf of, the professional, educational, social, political and cultural concerns of the Jewish community.”
Other states, like California, are also considering legislation to enhance security at faith-based schools.
Assemblyman Marc Levine, a Marion County Democrat, has filed Assembly Bill 927, setting aside $10 million to provide security at faith-based schools in the state.
“The problem is that while most public schools can afford security to protect the children, faith-based schools do not have the same degree of funding,” Levine wrote in the Sacramento Bee alongside retired basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
If you saw a young child being attacked on the street, would you do something to stop it?
That’s a defining question to a person’s moral character. But it’s also a defining question for a community’s moral character: What are we willing to do to protect our children?
When Marc Levine and Richard Bloom were sworn into office on Dec. 3, 2012, they became the only Jewish members of the state Assembly. Now, two terms later, they’re part of a thriving 16-member California Legislative Jewish Caucus.
(Sacramento)- The California Legislative Jewish Caucus condemns the wave of bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries that have occurred over the past several days. This week, Jewish Community Centers in Marin, Palo Alto, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Orange County and La Jolla received threats. The Anti-Defamation League office in San Francisco was also evacuated. Last week, Jewish cemeteries in Saint Louis and Philadelphia were vandalized.
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Berman (D-24) has released the following statement in response to a bomb threat made to the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto:
With the goals of fostering technological innovation and boosting research and development, the University of California has signed a memorandum of understanding with Israel’s National Technological Innovation Authority to increase cooperation between the two entities.
The memorandum aims to identify opportunities for projects, partnerships and collaborations between UC and Israel’s Innovation Authority that may lead to innovative technologies and products with the potential for commercialization in the global market.
The Daily Bruin ran an anti-Benjamin Netanyahu cartoon on the opinion page. This afternoon, the Daily Bruin issued an apology and a retraction. Here is the Daily Bruin’s apology:
We are grateful that the Daily Bruin has apologized for the offensive editorial cartoon that ran in yesterday’s edition. As individuals, and in our organizational capacities, we have repeatedly emphasized the need for collective humility – to realize when we have hurt others, to show the courage to admit error and to manifest the integrity to make amends.
In a diverse culture, it’s presumptuous to think that we fully know and understand each other; accordingly, we should be mindful about misusing or maligning deeply held cultural or religious touchstones. As the Bruin noted in its apology, “it’s wrong to perpetuate harmful stereotypes – intentional or otherwise.”
We understand that political cartoons have a long history as an important means of political debate. Unfortunately, that history also includes times when editorial pages have descended into racist and anti-Semitic imagery. We can and must do better than that. Speech has consequences.
None of us would like core symbols of our identity appropriated or mocked, and we should be vigilant in objecting if it happens to others. In our fall message to the community, we called upon the campus to elevate the political discourse and reject cheap shots and caricature.
We renew that call today. As we pursue our political passions we must strive to do so without demeaning each other. Wielding the power of the pen carries with it also the responsibility to remember that words and images matter.
Kang is the vice chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Gorden is the interim vice chancellor for Student Affairs.