Gavin Newsom Shifts on Israel, Calls for ‘Ceasefire’ in Gaza

2024-03-22 06:11:50

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) called for a “ceasefire” in Gaza in a letter to California’s “Muslim, Palestinian American, and Arab American” communities on Thursday, a step back from his pro-Israel stance early in the war.

As Breitbart News reported in October, Newsom paid a surprise visit to Israel on his way to China, meeting with Israeli victims of the Hamas terror attack of October 7. He did not equivocate in his support for Israel’s right to defend itself, as he recalled meeting in Isarel with “young soldiers fresh from bomb shelters and battlefields.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) visits with an Israeli victim of terror on a visit to Israel in October 2023 (Office of the Governor)

Now, following the lead of his party, Newsom has shifted toward a murkier middle, demanding “an immediate ceasefire as part of a deal to secure desperately needed relief for Gazan civilians and the release of hostages.”

Newsom’s language mirrors that of a fellow Californian, Vice President Kamala Harris, who made headlines earlier in March when she called for a temporary “ceasefire” in the context of a deal in which Hamas would release some Israeli hostages. Though that was not, in substance, a policy change, it marked a lasting rhetorical shift.

In his letter, the full text of which is available here, Newsom also expressed solidarity with Muslim, Palestinian, and Arab-American residents of the state who say they have experienced prejudice and difficulty speaking out.

“I also unequivocally denounce Hamas’s terrorist attack against Israel,” he said, without noting that Hamas continues to launch rockets against Israeli civilians when it can, and without calling on Hamas to surrender.

Newsom and Democrats are catering to the feelings of anti-Israel voters within their party, who threaten to abandon President Joe Biden in the 2024 election in key swing states, notably Michigan and Pennsylvania.

A recent Pew survey showed that a majority — 54% — of Muslim adults in the U.S. said that Israel’s reasons for fighting Hamas are “not valid.” A plurality — 49% — said that Hamas’s reasons for fighting Israel were “valid.”

“It is time to work in earnest toward an enduring peace that will furnish the lasting security, autonomy, and freedom that the Palestinians and the Israeli people both deserve,” Newsom concluded in his letter.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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Gavin Newsom Shifts on Israel, Calls for ‘Ceasefire’ in Gaza


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