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March 15, 2015 2:57 am

California Jewish Leaders Call for Tougher Laws Against Antisemitism After Recent Attacks

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Antisemitic graffiti at UC Davis following the passage of a resolution urging divestment from Israel. Photo: Instagram.

Jewish leaders in Sacramento, California rallied at the state Capitol on Monday for tougher laws against antisemitism, CBS Sacremento reported. The protest followed recent hate crimes that drew national attention to the Sacramento area.

“Today, the entire Sacramento community is going to come together to say we’ve had enough of this,” said Marty Block, chairman of the Legislative Jewish Caucus.

“There’s been some ugly, ugly incidents at our universities and colleges,” said Barry Broad, the president of the Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region, who organized the rally with Block.

Protesters included members of Sacramento’s Jewish community, as well as local and state political leaders, who carried signs saying, “Not here! Not now! Not Ever!” The Sacremento Bee reported.

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The rally was organized after two recent instances of antisemitism in the Sacramento area. A Jewish fraternity at University of California (UC), Davis was vandalized with swastikas, and a local residence displayed an Israeli flag with a swastika on it.

“It’s sad and pathetic that they…don’t understand the basic rules that our society lives by,” Broad said.

According to The Sacremento Bee, the protesters also criticized resolutions at California universities calling for divestment from Israeli businesses. Last January, UC Davis became the seventh UC campus where the student government passed a divestment measure. The student government later overturned the resolution, claiming it was not sufficiently related to student welfare, and therefore was beyond the scope of their jurisdiction.

Former California Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg called for UC campuses to adopt a resolution that rejects all forms of antisemitism. “It would be fine to add Islamophobia and racism as well,” he said.

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