California Gov. Newsom Pens Apology to Muslim Americans, Palestinians

California Gov. Newsom Pens Apology to Muslim Americans, Palestinians

A person holds a Palestinian flag as students participate in a “Walkout to fight Genocide and Free Palestine” at Bruin Plaza at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) in Los Angeles on Oct. 25, 2023. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

Travis Gillmore

Travis Gillmore

3/25/2024

Updated: 3/25/2024

With pro-Palestinian protests popping up regularly across the state, California Gov. Gavin Newsom wrote a letter March 21 apologizing to Muslim and Arab residents while calling for peace.
“So let me be clear—I condemn the ongoing and horrific loss of innocent civilian life in Gaza,” Mr. Newsom wrote. “I support President Biden’s call for an immediate cease-fire as part of a deal to secure desperately needed relief for Gazan civilians and the release of hostages.”
Hundreds of protests have disrupted airports, city councils, the state Legislature, and other locations since the war in the Middle East erupted after the Oct. 7 terrorist attack in Israel, with protesters seeking an immediate cease-fire in Gaza.
With more than 30,000 reportedly killed and another 70,000 injured in Gaza after Israel responded in force to the incident, the governor suggested the situation is a humanitarian crisis.
“None of us should be able to witness the deaths of thousands upon thousands of civilians in Gaza without our hearts breaking,” Mr. Newsom wrote. “The scale of suffering in Gaza is so vast that it seems few Palestinians across the world have been spared personal loss.”
Chaos in the region is affecting family members and friends of those impacted worldwide, he said.
“That’s why it pains me so deeply to see the ways your communities are suffering, bearing the weight of lost family and friends in Gaza while facing a rise in discrimination and hate here at home,” the governor wrote. “As I’ve met with leaders from your communities in recent months, I’ve heard stories of unimaginable loss and widespread fear.”
Following months of protests and civil disobedience where streets of San Francisco and other cities are routinely taken over by protesters—with no permits—who graffiti buildings and street signs with pro-Palestinian messages, the governor said that some are fearful of discussing the violence in Gaza.
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators sit in front of the stage, disrupting the afternoon session of the 2023 California Democratic Party November State Endorsing Convention, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, at SAFE Credit Union Convention Center in Sacramento, Calif. (Lezlie Sterling/The Sacramento Bee via AP)

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators sit in front of the stage, disrupting the afternoon session of the 2023 California Democratic Party November State Endorsing Convention, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, at SAFE Credit Union Convention Center in Sacramento, Calif. (Lezlie Sterling/The Sacramento Bee via AP)

“On top of the pain of discrimination and fear of violence, I have also heard from Muslim, Arab American, and Palestinian American leaders that many fear speaking out against the deaths of civilians in Gaza,” Mr. Newsom wrote. “Know that I will always defend your right to take part in the California tradition of peaceful protest—to publicly express your opposition to any war or government decision you oppose, including the war in Gaza.”
Citing “countless achievements” in the fields of arts, science, technology, and politics, the governor expressed gratitude to the community.
“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,” Mr. Newsom wrote. “I am grateful and proud that each of you call the Golden State home.”
Others questioned the message and noted the increase in antisemitism statewide and particularly on college campuses.
“That goes for our Jewish citizens too, I hope,” one person wrote on X March 21. “They are the ones being victimized on our California campuses. Why have you let that continue?”
The governor balanced his message with statements criticizing Hamas and the lack of peace in the region.
“I also unequivocally denounce Hamas’s terrorist attack against Israel,” Mr. Newsom wrote. “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.”
He also denounced hate against groups that he says are historically discriminated against—claiming that African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, Jews, and gays are all suffering from increased vitriol.
A participant holds a placard as students gather during a "Walkout to fight Genocide and Free Palestine" at Bruin Plaza at the University of California in Los Angeles on Oct. 25, 2023. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

A participant holds a placard as students gather during a "Walkout to fight Genocide and Free Palestine" at Bruin Plaza at the University of California in Los Angeles on Oct. 25, 2023. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

“Our history teaches that each swelling tide of bigotry will target more than just one group and that it will too often threaten all who have known discrimination,” Mr. Newsom wrote. “California will continue to lead the way in defending those under attack for who they are, how they look, or what they believe.”
One critic called the message divisive and said the “California for All” message promoted by the governor should be inclusive.
“How about the fear in the Californians you didn’t add to your list. Do they count too? One poster wrote March 21 on X. What can’t you just say all Californians? We don’t need to be divided by race.”
Copy
facebooktwitterlinkedintelegram
Travis Gillmore

Travis Gillmore

Author

Travis Gillmore is an avid reader and journalism connoisseur based in California covering finance, politics, the State Capitol, and breaking news for The Epoch Times.

Author's Selected Articles
California Insider
Sign up here for our email newsletter!
©2024 California Insider All Rights Reserved. California Insider is a part of Epoch Media Group.