California’s ‘come to Hamas’ moments

California, the nation and the Middle East are not better places because of Darrell Steinberg and Gavin Newsom.

By Lloyd Billingsley, The Washington Free Beacon

“California is a better place because of you—our Muslim, Palestinian American, and Arab American neighbors and friends who contribute so much to our state’s sense of faith and belonging,” reads the March 21 letter from Gov. Gavin Newsom to “California’s Muslim, Palestinian American, and Arab American communities.” Excerpts from the 1326-word letter include:

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—the largest documented surge of its kind since late 2015 and early 2016, amidst calls for a Muslim ban.

And now, many Muslim and Arab American communities report a level of fear comparable to the months following 9/11.

The Muslim and Arab American leaders I’ve sat with stressed that these numbers reveal only a fraction of the problem. They’re right. Out of fear and historically rooted distrust, we know that hate crimes and hateful incidents too often go unreported by many Muslim Californians, Arab Americans, Palestinian Americans, and other groups who have endured suspicion and alienation in this country. We in government must earn back your trust.

So let me be clear—I condemn the ongoing and horrific loss of innocent civilian life in Gaza. I support President Biden’s call for an immediate ceasefire as part of a deal to secure desperately needed relief for Gazan civilians and the release of hostages.

I also unequivocally denounce Hamas’s terrorist attack against Israel. It is time to work in earnest toward an enduring peace that will furnish the lasting security, autonomy, and freedom that the Palestinians and the Israeli people both deserve.

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. As part of that effort, 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 so on, welcomed by the California chapter of CAIR, which

has advocated with state and federal elected officials to call for a cease-fire since the beginning of Israel’s violent military offense five months ago, including with Governor Newsom’s office.

We are invigorated to see the Governor ultimately decide to take action and commend him for his commitment to peace and justice amid the heartbreaking violence that has tragically resulted in the death of over 30,000 Palestinians.

One day before Newsom’s letter, in California’s capital city, the Sacramento City Council passed Resolution 240, which:

Calls for an immediate and permanent bilateral ceasefire to urgently end the current violence; a true and effective bilateral ceasefire must include four key simultaneous elements.

(1) Hamas must cease all military operations directed against Israel, (2) the immediate unconditional release of all Israeli hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, (3) Israel must stop the bombing and military action inside the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and (4) the elimination of all offensive weapons by Israel and Hamas directed at one another.

Recognizes this conflict will not be resolved militarily; rather, it will be resolved diplomatically when wise, courageous and visionary leaders on both sides replace the current leaders in charge today.

This resolution calls for new leadership on both sides. There is no chance for real peace and a long-term bilateral ceasefire so long as the current leadership exists on both sides.

Calls upon the Biden administration to promptly send and facilitate the entry of unrestricted humanitarian assistance into the Gaza Strip. Calls for the immediate unconditional release of all Palestinians held without charge or trial in Israeli prisons.

The measure is the project of Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg, a former state senate boss known for boondoggle health projects. According to local CAIR executive director Basim Elkarra, “calling for a cease-fire and acknowledging each other’s perspectives is a significant step for our communities.”

The resolution “recognizes that the situation on the ground doesn’t just impact Palestinians and Israelis, but also affects us Arabs, Muslims, Christians and Jews here in Sacramento.”

Over at UC Berkeley, Jews are the targets of choice.

Israeli spokesman Ran Bar-Yoshafat was slated to speak there on February 26 but hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters blocked the venue, smashed windows and physically attacked students who came to hear the speaker. The event was canceled because campus police could not guarantee students’ safety.

UC Berkeley now joins Harvard, Penn, MIT and Columbia, all attracting congressional attention for tolerance of anti-Semitism. Gov. Newsom’ website shows no letter addressing that reality, or the events of February 26 at Berkeley, which Gavin Newsom did not attend.

Newsom claims he went to Santa Clara University on a “partial baseball scholarship.” The carefully coiffed governor, with connections to the Brown, Pelosi and Getty families, now faces a budget deficit of $73 billion.

Darrell Steinberg is a graduate of UCLA and earned his law degree at UC Davis. Even so, his resolution had nothing to say about the events of February 26 at Berkeley.

California’s capital now faces a budget deficit of $66 million and the homeless problem is worse than ever. California, the nation and the Middle East are not better places because of Darrell Steinberg and Gavin Newsom.

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