By June 30, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Anti-Semitism in California, JTA, Jan. 18, 1982.

ADL LogoAnti-Semitic incidents in California, ranging from property vandalism to assaults, increased six-fold last year, David Lehrer, an attorney for the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, told a governor’s task force here last week. The task force is investigating reports of an upsurge of hostility against Blacks, Orientals and Jews in the state.

Lehrer and Gary Davis, former chief of staff to Gov. Edmund Brown, Jr., agreed that the rise of racism was notable within the middle class. According to Davis, “There is a new respectability for bigotry and intolerance. Many of our leaders seem to accept it and some even encourage it.”

In that connection, Davis cited the recent public remark by State Sen. John Schmitz, an ultraconservative Republican, that opponents of a measure to outlaw abortion in California appeared to him as “a sea of hard Jewish and (arguably) female faces” and were “murderous marauders.” Davis characterized this as “verbal vandalism.”

Lehrer blamed the rise in anti-Semitic incidents on “paramilitary activity by various extremist groups on the radical right” and on “more subtle organizations” which disseminate information through books and pamphlets that perpetuate racial stereotypes and incite to violence.

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