SWC Decries LA City Council Candidate Caving to Democratic Socialist Party’s anti-Israel Agenda

April 26, 2022

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is decrying labor organizer Hugo Soto-Martinez, a candidate backed by the Democratic Socialist Party’s (DSA) Los Angeles chapter, for endorsing anti-Israel measures in his DSA questionnaire. DSA expects its candidates to endorse BDS and to commit that they will not travel to Israel. 


“The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) does not endorse candidates. But when someone seeking to election to a post where he would be impacting on all citizens of Los Angeles, endorses extremist anti-peace boycotts of the Jewish State, we must protest,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, SWC Associate Dean and Director of its Global Social Action.


“No such draconian moves are directed at China, Russia, Iran or Cuba, global leaders in human rights abuses.”


Rabbi Cooper added: “Saddest of all is Soto-Martinez’s confusion as to why a local politician would ever consider traveling to the Jewish state: ‘…it really doesn’t make sense to take “education trips” that aren’t about city administration and municipal progress,’ the candidate wrote.”


“If he could ever get past the ideological blinders, he would discover many reasons to travel to the Jewish state that would benefit Angelinos. Israel has a lot to share from water issues, alternative power, to cleaner environment, to hi-tech startups.”


I urge Mr. Soto-Martinez to reconsider his ill-informed statements and look to Israelis as allies in the struggle to tackle tough urban issues and improve the quality of life for all,” Rabbi Cooper concluded.


Soto-Martinez is a leading challenger to Mitch O’Farrell for LA City Council (CD13). He has been an active member of DSA-LA since early 2019, including serving as a chapter officer for NOlympics for two terms and as a delegate to the 2021 National Convention. 

Background on DSA:


The DSA was listed on SWC's Top Ten Worst Global Anti-Semitic Incidents for 2020.  At that time, the New York City Democratic Socialist Party (DSA) submitted a 2021 questionnaire to all prospective candidates for Municipal offices, which revealed a deep bias against the Jewish state and its supporters. 


For further information, please email Michele Alkin, Director of Global Communications at malkin@wiesenthal.com or Shawn Rodgers at srodgers@wiesenthal.com, join the Center on Facebook, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.


The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international Jewish human rights organization numbering over 400.000 members. It holds consultative status at the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS, and the Latin American Parliament (PARLATINO).


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