California Plan to Counter Antisemitism Misses the Mark

by Katya Rapoport Sedgwick at

American Jews today face threats mainly from two camps — the Islamists and the woke youth. One wouldn’t know it from reading California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Golden State Plan to Counter Antisemitism.

The document correctly notes that antisemitic violence escalated immediately after the October 7th terrorist mega terror attack on Israel, but it failed to articulate the significance of it. Without a clear idea of what’s going on in the country as a whole and California in particular, the issue of antisemitism can’t be properly addressed.

It is a burning issue. On November 5, 2023 in Thousand Oaks a Jordanian American anti-Israel protester and a computer science professor Loay Alnaji allegedly struck a pro-Israel activist Paul Kessler with a bullhorn, causing him to fall. Kessler died the following day.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, on November 16 cease-fire mob blocked the Bay Bridge. Seventy eight activists were arrested and, thanks to San Francisco District Attorney Brook Jenkins willingness to press charges, passions were tempered. Only twenty showed up to block the Golden Gate Bridge in February — and they were swiftly removed. Jenkins taught California a lesson here about the value of law enforcement in imposing peace.

Campus cops can stand to learn from her. At UC Berkeley, for instance, ceasefire mobs have been rocking the campus. In one February incident, a crowd of two hundred masked individuals broke into Zellerbach Playhouse where a pro-Israel event was scheduled to start, assaulting and spitting at a people and screaming racial slurs. The event was first moved to a different location, but eventually cancelled because the university didn’t have sufficient police force to hold back the mob. The investigation is stalled because the masked activists couldnt be identified.

UC Berkeley is far from the only campus with a raging antisemitism problem. The LA Times reports that “the U.S. Department of Education launched civil rights investigations into several California campuses, including UCLA, UC San Diego, Stanford, San Diego and Santa Monica College.” Although only a handful of schools became the subject of investigation, antizionist violence and intimidation are a persistent problem on California campuses.