SWC Urges California Attorney General Rob Bonta to Lead in the Battle Against Anti-Semitism

May 12, 2023

Senior officials from the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museum of Tolerance met today with California Attorney General Rob Bonta during a visit to the Museum of Tolerance. SWC Founder & CEO Rabbi Marvin Hier, Associate Dean and Global Social Action Director Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Executive Director Rabbi Meyer May, and MOT Director Liebe Geft conferred on a broad range of issues at the Museum of Tolerance (MOT). Director Geft pointed out that the MOT has been a trailblazing human rights museum, now celebrating its 30th year. It has attracted over 7.5 million visitors and trained hundreds of thousands of law enforcement and other stakeholders through its renowned Tools for Tolerance Programs.


In their discussion with the state’s top law enforcement official, the Rabbis emphasized the need for accountability for all perpetrators of anti-Semitic hate crimes in California and across the US.


“There must be accountability for all anti-Semitic acts whether they occur on the UC campuses or on the streets of our cities. It is absolutely crucial that our law enforcement, our universities, and our state have a working definition of what anti-Semitism is, if we are to make a dent in the daunting statistics, best summarized by what FBI Director Christopher Wray who recently confirmed that 63% of religion-based hate crimes in the US target 2.4% of the population –America’s Jews,” stated Rabbi Hier.


Rabbi Cooper, who founded the SWC Digital Terrorism and Hate Project three decades ago, emphasized the need for California to take the lead in pressuring Silicon Valley to stop the leveraging of their powerful social media platforms by bigots, racists, and anti-Semites. 


“Social media is used today – not only to unleash hate against members of minority communities – but also to recruit individuals to carry out heinous hate crimes, stated Rabbi Cooper.


Rabbi May pointed out that CA Governor Gavin Newsom recently visited the Museum of Tolerance with his entire cabinet and reiterated his commitment that all agencies of the State of California work harder to improve the lot of all the people, adding, “we urged Governor Newsom to adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism and hope that as the state’s top law enforcement official you will do the same.”


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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