Democrats for Israel - Los Angeles


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  • 7 Oct 2023 12:51 PM | Anonymous

    10/7/2023 - Like the many organizations in the Jewish and non-Jewish world across our nation, Democrats for Israel Los Angeles, alongside the many affiliated DFI groups across the state of California, condemns the Saturday morning surprise attack by the terrorist Hamas regime in Gaza on Israel.

    The brutality of Iranian-supported Hamas terrorists is being documented in real time. Women and children beaten and then taken hostage. Kibbutz residents who have worked for peace with the Palestinians for their entire lives butchered by terrorists. Thousands of rockets launched deliberately at Israeli cities, villages and kibbutz have killed Israeli children, women and men and injured hundreds, while Hamas terrorists on the ground have killed hundreds more.

    DFI-LA condemns this senseless and unprovoked attack on Israel and its citizens and calls on all members of the Democratic Party and all Americans to rally in support of Israel, as President Biden and his administration have already done.

    There will be time for investigations about how just such an attack by Hamas was planned and implemented, catching the Israeli security apparatus by surprise, just as there will be plenty of time for political and military analysts to determine just how much the unrest in the West Bank contributed to this situation. But for now, it is time for Americans to rally behind Israel, the only democracy in the region, in opposition to the terrorism of Hamas and Iran’s other allies in the region, notably and potentially, Hezbollah in Lebanon.

  • 13 Mar 2023 4:56 PM | Anonymous

    We stand in solidarity with the pro-democracy opposition in Israel, against the policies of the extremist coalition government of Benjamin Netanyahu

    March 13, 2023

    As Democrats, we are greatly alarmed by the potential harms to Israeli society by Israel’s new governing coalition, the most right-wing in its history.

    The values of the California Democratic Party (CDP) are clear. The CDP’s 2022 Platform states its support for Israel’s future as a secure democratic Jewish state and provides Israelis and Palestinians the right to live with independence, sovereignty, and dignity within their own viable states free from persecution, terror, or incitement.

    Consistent with our values and those of the Democratic Party, we continue to support the right of Israel to live securely as a Jewish and democratic state, as it has since 1948.  

    As we have seen in the rise of other right-wing nationalist governments in Hungary, Poland, Turkey and Italy, the recent elections in Israel have veered the country sharply to the right and away from the democratic principles espoused by its founders — principles that have placed the Jewish state among other western democratic nations.

    When Donald Trump was elected President, millions of Americans mobilized to oppose his policies, but they did not advocate for the end of the United States. They mobilized because they loved their country. As American Jews, we are not citizens of Israel, but we recognize that Jewish identity remains intertwined with Israel’s existence.

    Criticism of harmful Israeli policy that bears on its democratic character is appropriate as long as it does not embrace antisemitism or seek to delegitimize Israel’s existence. The way to support Israel and its democratic values is to stand with the more than 200,000 Israelis  regularly coming out to protest the current government's attempts to undermine its democratic principles. Indeed, as Democrats and as Zionists, we express great alarm at the current government’s proposed policies  and stand in solidarity with Israelis of all religions and orientations who seek to protect a democratic Israel.

    We stand in solidarity with a democratic Israel because the current far-right government is advancing a proposal to eliminate independent judicial oversight, which would enable members of the government to refuse to comply with the law whenever they choose. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is standing trial on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust while leading a campaign to destroy the very judicial system responsible for his criminal prosecution, dismantling the separation of powers, eroding the independence of Israel's judges and giving politicians unfettered control.

    To accomplish this requires extremist alliances. Enter Itamar Ben-Gvir, Bezalel Smotrich and others, who seemingly have no qualms about dismantling Israeli democracy, disregarding the rights of the LGBTQ community, women, secular Israelis, Reform and Conservative Jews, and other minority groups.  This extremist coalition government is ignoring the concerns of the millions in Israel who oppose this anti-democratic judicial overhaul, and members of this extremist coalition government have refused to slow the process and sit down and negotiate reforms that would be acceptable to the vast majority of the Israeli public.

    Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich called for the Palestinian village of Huwara to be wiped out because a terrorist shot and killed Israelis at a settlement nearby. Shortly thereafter, a mob of settlers attacked and torched the town. Further, another member of the coalition government objected to the arrest of Israeli settlers who are connected with the attack. Ben-Gvir has been convicted of incitement to terrorism on multiple occasions. He is a follower of the late rabbi Meir Kahane, the founder of Kahanism: a violent, extremist ideology that advocates for and has inspired acts of terror. He and his disciples were rightly banned from Israel's legislature  in 1988 on the grounds that their ideology is “racist and undemocratic.” As recently as November 2022, Ben-Gvir attended a commemoration ceremony for Meir Kahane.

    We stand in solidarity with a democratic Israel because Israel’s ruling coalition seems bent on imposing radical change to Israel’s political system. We Democrats in the United States have witnessed how a rightward shift of the Supreme Court has impacted the rights of immigrants, expanded Title 42, and reversed Roe v. Wade. A majority of our U.S. Supreme Court Justices have also signaled a readiness to challenge voting rights, election law, and affirmative action. The erosion of minority protections in our own country is deepening and, as noted by Israeli legal experts, the proposed dismantling of the checks and balances of an independent Israeli judiciary would have a similar effect. Democracy is not the power of a temporary, thin legislative majority to permanently —without recourse — oppress and remove the rights of its citizens. We cannot stand by quietly as democratic protections are eroded in both Israel and the United States. 

    We stand in solidarity because we are concerned for the rights and aspirations of the Palestinian people, who desire their own viable, independent state living in peace next to Israel. We are particularly concerned with a guiding principle of the new coalition, which seeks to greenlight unilateral annexation, making a two-state solution virtually impossible and making the establishment of a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians equally impossible. Worse, the goals of this coalition government would normalize a unilateral form of Jewish hegemony from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, creating no options for consenting Palestinians to retain basic human rights of self-determination and taking away the option of their own state. The ruling coalition is in contravention of the national Democratic Party platform, which expressly supports a two-state solution and opposes unilateral actions by either party—whether it be Israelis imposing a single state via annexation or Palestinians attempting to force Israelis into a single-majority Palestinian state through an international campaign of delegitimization and a wildly overbroad interpretation of right of return laws.

    As Democrats, we stand in solidarity with those seeking a democratic Israel by standing in opposition to the extreme proposals of Israel’s current coalition government, which are in stark contrast to our party platform and the values enshrined in Israel’s founding Declaration of Independence. Israelis are raising a clear and broad voice to oppose these proposed policies. These voices cannot be ignored.

    We stand with the will of the Israeli people to find solutions that benefit all Israelis, protect democracy, and work for a sustainable peace.

          Democrats for Israel California, a council of Jewish Democratic clubs
          Progressive Zionists of California
          Democrats for Israel Los Angeles
          Jewish Democratic Club of Silicon Valley
          Jewish Democratic Club of Solano County


  • 13 Feb 2023 5:52 PM | Anonymous

    DFI-LA's Mihran Kalaydjian and David Alpern published a look at the shared values that lead both Israel and American to frequently extend a helping hand to those afflicted anywhere, anytime, by a natural disaster.


    America and Israel’s shared values spur each of them to quickly respond when a global crisis happens due to a natural disaster. For Israel it is rooted in the Jewish concept of being responsible for providing Tikkun Olam (heal the world) derived from one of the noblest precepts found in the Mishnah (in Sanhedrin) as well as other Talmudic-period texts that convey how “Whoever Saves a Life Saves the World”. America is the only country ever founded on Judeo-Christian values, where Judaic values are factored into the DNA of the nation alongside Christian values. The balance of Western democracies are founded strictly on Christian values. As such, America and Israel are the only two countries in the history of civilization who have incorporate Jewish values into their DNA and worldview, which in this case translates into being a resource to all corners of the globe when tragedy strikes.

  • 7 Feb 2023 12:06 PM | Anonymous

    Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) quickly sent a humanitarian aid delegation to Turkey on the heels of the deadly 7.8 earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on Monday morning (2/6/2023) killing tens of thousands and injuring thousands more.

    The Israel Defense Forces sent a humanitarian aid delegation to Turkey to assist in the disaster relief effort - including helping extricate the thousands who remained trapped beneath rubble. "Olive Branches" is a joint mission together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defense to lend their expertise in searching for survivors and treating wounded victims. Israel also sent supplies to Syria, despite officially being in a declared state of war.

  • 2 Feb 2023 7:04 PM | Anonymous


    Why So Many Jewish Organizations Support Ethnic Studies

    EDUCATION - As members of the Community in Los Angeles, we are often asked why our organization supported the passage of state legislation requiring Ethnic Studies as a high school graduation requirement. 

    The answer is an easy one. It was the right thing to do at the time, and it is the right thing for our high school students today. In a state where many if not most school districts have a majority of their students coming from historically disadvantaged and historically marginalized communities, we supported (and still support) requiring high school students to have the opportunity to learn about THEIR history. The legislation as passed by the State Legislature, and the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum adopted by the State Board of Education as a result of the law, focuses on four ethnic groups in California – African American, Asian and Pacific Islander, Latino, and Native Americans. The model curriculum adopted by the SBE seeks to educate students about the history and culture of these four groups, but to do so in a straightforward, objective manner, with school districts free to add courses on the history and culture of other ethnic groups with significant populations within their boundaries. The State Board of Education was quite clear in its Model Curriculum – the courses were to be taught by teachers to inform students, rather than proselytize one perspective or another, depending on the teacher’s point of view. 

    Of course, we are living in highly politicized times, and public education has strangely become a political battlefield. Many on both sides of the political spectrum have chosen to mischaracterize what the Ethnic Studies courses required by the legislation are, and what they should be. 

    From the right wing, we have pundits stating with great alarm that California schools will be teaching anti-American curriculum that seeks to paint our Founding Fathers and the history of our nation in negative brush strokes in an attempt to turn students against “the American Way”. Those critics are quick to accuse advocates of Ethnic Studies of injecting Critical Race Theory – a widely accepted approach in college curriculum that sees the racism and white supremacy that was so prevalent in the first century of the United States as the foundation for so many of the societal ills that our nation faces today – into our K-12 schools. 

    Those on the left criticize the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum because it did not incorporate rhetoric that puts the blame for today’s racial and economic problems entirely on the exploitation of colonies by the colonizing nations of the 17th and 18th centuries. Some on the left also pushed to include rhetoric that was explicitly anti-Israel and arguably antisemitic into the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum – essentially labeling Jews who supported the return of Jews to their ancestral homeland of Israel as “colonizers”. This approach was rejected by the State Board of Education for a variety of reasons, including having little or nothing to do with the four “core” ethnic groups to be focused on, for use of inflammatory rhetoric, and a bevy of other reasons. Indeed, the SBE rejected the first draft of model curriculum for these and other reasons. 

    As we write this article, the LAUSD is moving forward with the development of a wide variety of courses that meet the high school graduation requirement adopted by the California Legislature, although it should be pointed out that the LAUSD moved to make Ethnic Studies a high school graduation requirement in 2014, well before the state legislature took action. In concert with a number of Los Angeles area Jewish organizations and advocates in Los Angeles is working with the school district’s Division of Instruction to ensure that new Ethnic Studies courses meet the LAUSD policy requiring curriculum to taught in a manner that emphasizes critical thinking skills rather than being taught from a particular political point of view. Furthermore, we have made it clear to the district that curriculum should be developed in a transparent and inclusive process. 

    Ethnic Studies is an important addition to the LAUSD and state of California’s list of high school graduation requirements. It is vital that courses that are adopted to meet that requirement meet the highest standards of rigor and objectivity. We applaud the LAUSD’s commitment to work with the community and look forward with enthusiasm to the expansion of ethnic studies course offerings.

    (Mihran Kalaydjian is a consummate leading member of the community and a devoted activist. He has spearheaded numerous educational initiatives.) 

    (Gregg Solkovits is President of Democrats for Israel – Los Angeles and is a 36+ year Social Studies and English teacher.)

  • 28 Jan 2023 4:35 PM | Anonymous

    DFI LA President Gregg Solkovits, DFI LA Vice President Michelle Elmer and DFI LA Executive Board member Mihran Kalaydjian attended the local district swearing in ceremony of California State Senate District 20 Senator Caroline Menjivar, (D-Northeast San Fernando Valley) on Saturday, January 28.

    DFI-LA with Jesse Gabriel

    DFI-LA with Caroline Menjivar

    DFI-LA with Pilar Schiavo

    DFI-LA with Adrin Nazarian

    Held at the Monteverde Ranch in Sylmar, numerous elected officials and community members were present to see Menjivar be sworn in by State Senator Maria Elena Durazo. DFI LA gave a Support position in the election, which was held last November (2022).

  • 6 Jan 2023 5:03 PM | Anonymous

    Democrats for Israel – Los Angeles reminds its members and supporters that elections to choose delegates to the California Democratic Party Convention are being held thru January 22. Any registered Democratic voter in the state can vote for the delegates from THEIR Assembly District, at ANY CADEM election site over the next few weeks.

    Below is a list of DFI LA members who are running, listed by Assembly District. Following that list is a list of voting sites, and the day (and hours) that site will be open.

    We need to get these members elected. There WILL be anti-Israel resolutions introduced at the CA Democratic Party convention. We need these leaders at that convention, to push back on those attempts to single out Israel for criticism, and to keep the Democratic Party’s official position one of support for Israel and the two-state solution!!

    Vote for these candidates:

    AD 40 Gregg Solkovits

    AD 40 Renay Grace Rodriguez

    AD 40 Lorraine Lundquist

    AD 40 Brandon Zavala

    AD 42 Jeremy Wolf

    AD 42 Murtaza Mogri

    AD 42 Jodie Cooper

    AD 42 Jonathan M Zasloff

    AD 44 Analisa Swan

    AD 44 Armond Aghakhanian

    AD 44 Paul Kujawsky

    AD 46 Jessica Yas Barker

    AD 46 Bari Worth Girvan

    AD 46 Greg Girvan

    AD 46 Daniel Spitzer

    AD 47 Patrick Weiss

    AD 51 Naomi Goldman

    AD 51 Debbie Paperman

    AD 51 Louis Abramson

    AD 51 Isabel Storey

    AD 51 Jonah Platt

    AD 51 Caroline Torosis

    AD 51 Jane Wishon

    AD 51 Barry Snell

    AD 55 Darrel Menthe

    AD 55 Linda Lucks

    AD 55 Rachel Pearl Bracker

    AD 59 Lauren Klatzker

    AD 66 Tony Hale

    AD 66 Scott Houston

    AD 69 David Alpern

    AD 69 David Rosen

  • 23 Oct 2022 5:13 PM | Anonymous

  • 28 Sep 2022 5:57 PM | Anonymous

    Watch: Arnold Schwarzenegger visits site of Nazi German death camp Auschwitz and meets a Holocaust survivor. Urges world to TERMINATE hatred:


    Schwarzenegger visits Auschwitz

  • 25 Aug 2022 5:54 PM | Anonymous

    "Rep. Sherman" <>
    Date: August 25, 2022 at 4:10:11 PM PDT

    Supporting Israel in Congress - from Congressman Brad Sherman

    I am writing to provide you an update on my recent work related to Middle East policy in Congress.

    For 26 years, I have served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where I am the second most senior Democrat. I currently serve as the Co-Chair of the House’s Israel Allies Caucus, where I work to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship. Since 1997, I have spoken at every annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington D.C. 

    Fighting Back Against the UN’s Biased Commission of Inquiry

    In 2021, the United Nations (UN) adopted a resolution to create a biased and illegitimate permanent Commission of Inquiry (COI) to investigate supposed Israeli war crimes. Unsurprisingly, this outrageous COI appointed biased commissioners - one of whom recently made anti-Semitic comments about a so-called ‘Jewish lobby.’

    To combat these efforts, I joined a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urging him to immediately remove the COI commissioner who made these insidious comments and disband the COI altogether. I also previously wrote to Secretary of State Blinken urging the Administration to defund the COI by reducing the U.S.’s contributions to the UN by the cost of the COI.

    Lastly, I cosponsored H.R.7223, the COI Elimination Act, which would make it official U.S. policy to seek the abolition of the COI and reduce U.S. contributions to the UN by 25% of the amount budgeted for the COI. I will continue to fight against outrageous anti-Israel bias at the United Nations and in all international organizations.

    Supporting the Iron Dome

    Israel continues to face unprecedented threats, from Hamas to Hizballah to Iran. Hamas fires rockets to kill as many Israeli civilians as it can. Each rocket fired at Israel is a war crime, whether or not it achieves Hamas’ bloody objective.

    Accordingly, Congress is committed to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME) and its ability to defend itself, by itself, against persistent threats. U.S. aid to Israel is only ½ of 1% of our national security budget and the best investment we can make in our own security.

    U.S.-Israel cooperative missile defense programs such as the Iron Dome, Arrow 3, and David’s Sling systems have saved countless Israeli civilian lives and prevented further escalation of hostilities. I have been a vocal proponent of funding and replenishing the Iron Dome.

    When Hamas launched 4,500 rockets targeting Israeli civilians in the spring of 2021, I sent a letter to the Department of Defense urging the Biden Administration to continue its support of Israel’s safety and security by replenishing the Iron Dome.

    I was proud to vote for supplemental funding to replenish the Iron Dome this September, which passed with overwhelming support in the House.

    When this critical funding was blocked by a Republican Senator, I sent a letter urging President Biden to put his weight behind this issue by specifically requesting that Congress include supplemental funding for Israel’s Iron Dome in an appropriations bill to circumvent this Senator’s delay.

    I then sent a second letter to the Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee urging the $1 billion in Iron Dome replenishment funding to be included in the FY2022 appropriations bill.

    As a result, the FY2022 appropriations legislation included this funding, and it passed the House this March.

    Security Assistance to Israel – $3.8 Billion is a Floor, Not a Ceiling

    I am a strong supporter of the current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between Israel and the United States, committing $3.8 billion in annual defense assistance through 2028. I also support the right of Congress to appropriate more aid than the MOU calls for.

    To ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge, we need to do more to help Israel and must ensure our weapons transfers to other states in the Middle East do not erode that advantage.

    I joined Rep. Schneider in introducing H.R. 849 – Guaranteeing Israel’s QME Act of 2020. This legislation would require consultation with the Government of Israel prior to the sale of any advanced weapon system to the region to ensure Israel maintains its QME.

    Remembering Israelis Lost to Terrorism

    Ahead of the 50th Anniversary of the Munich Massacre, I joined my colleague Burgess Owens in introducing a bipartisan House Resolution calling for a moment of silence in Congress and at all future Olympic Opening Ceremonies in honor of the eleven Israeli athletes who were brutally murdered by a group of Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.

    The massacre of eleven Israelis during the 1972 Munich Olympics remains one of the darkest chapters in Olympic history.

    As we near the 50th anniversary of this hateful act, I will continue to fight to memorialize the victims and pass this resolution to provide a powerful reminder of the need to continue combatting bigotry, anti-Semitism and terror in all its forms.

    U.S.-Israel Energy, Agriculture, and Technology Cooperation

    All too often when people think of Israel, they think of a recent terrorist attack. When people think of Israel they should think not of tsuris, but of science. 

    In 2007, I authored the legislation that established the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Program. Since its inception, Congress has provided $39.7 million for the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperative Agreement program, fully matched dollar for dollar by the Government of Israel. Since 2009, the program has leveraged over $47 million in private sector investment.

    The U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Program supports joint U.S.-Israel research and development in energy efficiency and alternative power, including biofuels, energy storage, new solar and wind projects, electric vehicles, and increased grid efficiency.

    Last year, Congress established two new cooperative initiatives to leverage U.S.-Israel collaboration to address the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as enhance development cooperation in the areas of water resources, agriculture and energy storage between USAID and Israel in developing countries.

    Innovative and cutting-edge technology is increasingly necessary to keep us all safe. The U.S.-Israel BIRD Homeland Security program facilitates cooperative projects between two-partner entities, one from the U.S. and one from Israel, and leverages government investments through partnerships with the academic and private sector to identify gaps in critical capabilities while building stronger connections between the U.S. and Israel.

    Every year I lead a package of bipartisan letters to the Appropriations committee that continue and expand funding for cooperative bi-national COVID-related and health technologies research, U.S.-Israel cooperation to address sustainability challenges in the developing world, homeland security, agriculture, and energy research.

    This year, my package of letters was signed by over 80 bipartisan Members of Congress.

    Normalization of Israel’s Diplomatic Relations With Its Neighbors

    Normalizing relations between Israel and its regional neighbors has been an enduring goal of the United States, and one I continue to work towards.

    I am a cosponsor of the Israel Relations Normalization Act, which will create strategies to strengthen and expand peace and normalization agreements in the region, as well as monitor the emergence of laws that would hinder this critical goal.

    I also continue to promote normalization efforts through my meetings with foreign dignitaries as a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. In November, I met with the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, and Ambassador Lalla Joumala.

    We discussed the progress of Morocco-Israel diplomatic ties following Morocco’s agreement to normalize relations with Israel last year.

    Specifically, we discussed Morocco’s commitment to enact the steps outlined in this agreement including their plans for opening an embassy in Israel and the recent start of direct flights.

    Promoting Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education

    Encouraging reconciliation and envisioning a path toward mutual acceptance among new generations of Palestinians and Israelis remains critical.

    Unfortunately, Palestinian Authority textbooks stymie this goal by teaching children to accept violence, glorify terrorism, promote antisemitism, and reject peace.

    Palestinian textbooks erase Israel from maps, refer to Israel only as “the enemy,” and ask children to sacrifice their lives to “liberate” all of the land between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea. One such example is a 5th grade textbook which encourages students to emulate Dalal al-Mughrabi, a convicted terrorist who perpetrated the 1978 Coastal Road massacre which killed 38 Israeli civilians - including 13 children.

    That’s why I re-introduced my legislation, the Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act, which ensures the United States prioritizes ending the normalization of violence and antisemitism in Palestinian Authority school curriculums.

    This legislation unanimously passed the Foreign Affairs Committee in the last Congress and will require the Secretary of State to submit annual reports reviewing the education material used by the Palestinian Authority.

    I will always work for peace and against incitement.


    I would like your input on how I can be most effective in strengthening the U.S.-Israel alliance. Please share your input with me at or you can reach us by phone at (202) 225-5911.

    Office of Congressman Brad Sherman |

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