JPAC Statement: In Governor Newsom’s Letter to Muslim Community, Nuance Matters


March 22, 2024

“Yesterday, Governor Gavin Newsom published an open letter to California’s Muslim, Palestinian American, and Arab American communities with a much-needed denunciation of Islamophobia and anti-Arab hate. In the letter, Governor Newsom “unequivocally denounce[s] Hamas’s terrorist attack against Israel” and aligns with the Biden administration’s efforts to achieve a six-week humanitarian ceasefire that would return Israeli hostages captured by Hamas and provide aid to Gazan civilians in need. As recently as last week, Israel accepted a framework for this temporary ceasefire. Hamas has rejected this offer. 

“The Governor has also made clear numerous times since October 7th that Hamas’ continued rule in Gaza is not compatible with a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Reflecting on his visit to Israel days after Hamas’ horrific mass murders, he said, “Hamas is a terrorist organization, and they need to be eliminated, not just for the people of Israel and Jews around the world, but for the Palestinians themselves.” Again earlier this month, the Governor stressed that he wants “Hamas eliminated.”

“In response to the letter, we have been in close communication with the Governor and his team, and we appreciate his support for JPAC’s core positions on the Israel-Hamas war: 1) returning all remaining hostages to Israel, 2) removing Hamas from military control, 3) maximizing humanitarian aid to Gazans, and 4) minimizing civilian casualties.

“We look forward to continuing our close working relationship with Governor Newsom to strengthen California-Israel ties, achieve a peaceful and secure future for both Israelis and Palestinians, counter antisemitism, and make California a safe and welcoming place for all. “

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Contact: David Bocarsly, JPAC Executive Director,