California Is the Homeland of Progressive Anti-Semitism


One 19th century Gentile described California as “the Jews’ earthly paradise”. It is paradise no longer. Reports of attacks on Jewish businesses, homes and institutions are becoming ever more commonplace, while university campuses – hardly considered to be bastions of hate – have allowed acts of flagrant anti-Semitism to go unpunished.

Just last week, pro-Hamas students interrupted a graduation party for UC Berkeley law school graduates at the home of the school’s Jewish dean. The ‘protest’ occurred on private property, but that didn’t prevent the leader of ‘Berkeley Law Students for Justice in Palestine’ from smearing the professor who confiscated the microphone from the interrupting student’s hand as an “Islamophobe”, accusing her of “assault”.

It appears that California’s Jews can’t even relax in their own homes without being confronted by zealous radicals. Prior to the event, posters had been shared on social media showing the dean holding a bloody knife and fork, captioned “No dinner with Zionist Chem while Gaza starves.” It’s little wonder that dean Chemerinsky, a well-known progressive, wrote in response that “nothing has prepared me for the anti-Semitism” currently festering on Berkeley campus.

What happens in California says much about the future of the beleaguered Jewish diaspora. California, with 1.2 million Jews, has almost three times as many Jewish people as the three largest foreign diaspora countries – France, England and Canada.

The redefinition of Jews as serial oppressors harbouring genocidal ambitions has its roots in the educational and cultural industries that constitute the heart of progressive power. The anti-Jewish shift is all the more heartbreaking given that Universities like Berkeley, which I attended a half century ago and where some of my family have lived for 70 years, produced numerous Jewish Nobel prize winners.

Today in the University of California system pro-Hamas professors and students run riot on campuses, with the school seemingly unable or unwilling to stand up to them. Jay Sures, a member of the UC Board of Regents, characterised a statement released by the UC Ethnic Studies Faculty Council to the board, as being full “falsehoods, inaccuracies, and anti-Semitic innuendos” that “seeks to legitimise and defend the horrific savagery of the Hamas massacre of October 7”.

More worrisome still are efforts in grade schools to push a deeply divisive political agenda. Steeped in progressive ideology, California schools have rejiggered their math curricula to emphasise “social justice”. The state’s adopted ethnic studies program, shaped by ‘Critical Race Theory’, is openly anti-Zionist, all but erasing a millennia of Jewish history and experience.

Anti-Semitism isn’t just restricted to the schools. Recent pro-Hamas demonstrations have forced at least one LA synagogue to relocate its services; others have been vandalised while demonstrators halted traffic in the traditionally Jewish Fairfax district. The home owned by AIPAC President Steve Tuchin was recently attacked with smoke bombs and red paint. Many Jews, including members of my own congregation, are increasingly concerned about their safety. Gun sales in Jewish neighbourhoods have soared.

Read the rest of this piece at Telegraph.

Joel Kotkin is the author of The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class. He is the Roger Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and and directs the Center for Demographics and Policy there. Learn more at and follow him on Twitter @joelkotkin.

Photo: Progressive anti-Semitism is sweeping California. Source: Anadolu.