October 13, 2023 — San Diego
American Jewish Committee (AJC), the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people, today urged California Schools Superintendent Tony Thurmond to ensure public funds will not support an Ethnic Studies organization or its affiliates who attempt to justify or promote violence and terrorism.
AJC signed onto an open letter to Thurmond after the Coalition for Liberated Ethnic Studies (CLES) posted antisemitic and inflammatory messages on Instagram, including one that declared “victory,” a day after it was revealed Hamas terrorists slaughtered 260 people at a music festival.
“Their cruel messages callously celebrate carnage and incite violence against the Jewish people. They posted multiple times on social media blaming the victims for the horrific violence inflicted on children, women, men, and the elderly,” the letter says.
“Anyone who is supporting Hamas, a terrorist entity with a genocidal ideology, has lost their moral center, and should not be allowed to develop and disseminate educational materials, resources, or even guidance to our public schools,” said AJC San Diego Director Sara Brown. “It endangers our students and it endangers our community.”
The letter urges Thurmond to not let schools be “vehicles for hate” and calls on him to cut ties with CLES and ensure that no California district uses materials put out by the group.
“Individuals and organizations that engage in such behavior have no place providing educational services in California schools,” the letter says. “Public funds should not be directed to an organization or its affiliates who openly promote violence and terrorism; contracts with CLES should be canceled.”
The full letter can be seen here.
AJC is the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people. With headquarters in New York, 25 offices across the United States, 14 overseas posts, as well as partnerships with 38 Jewish community organizations worldwide, AJC’s mission is to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel, and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world. For more, please visit www.ajc.org.