For Immediate Release: May 17, 2022
ICAN Opposes Hugo Soto-Martinez for Los Angeles City Council
Los Angeles, California: The Israeli-American Civic Action Network (ICAN) has released the following statement in opposition to Hugo Soto-Martinez for Los Angeles City Council:
We are shocked, saddened, and pained that at a time when violent hate crimes are on the rise, a candidate for Los Angeles City Council, Hugo Soto-Martinez, would target the homeland of one of the world’s smallest most vulnerable minorities, Israel, and endanger Israelis around the world.
In response to a Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) questionnaire, candidate for Los Angeles City Council, Hugo Soto-Martinez stated that he would support “urging banks, municipal councils, churches, pension funds, and universities to withdraw investments from the State of Israel and all Israeli international companies.”
Israelis own, run, or operate many small businesses and companies in Los Angeles. This singling-out on the basis of national origin not only violates California’s anti-discrimination laws but is dangerous incitement.
Just days ago, the mass murderer in Buffalo New York also claimed Jews are the real problem and that “they can be dealt with in time.” Soto-Martinez’s extreme views facilitate precisely this kind of dangerous racism.
There are around 15 million Jewish people worldwide, roughly split between the United States and Israel, out of a global population of 8 billion people. That represents a minority of about 0.19%. And many Israelis have origins in Arab and African lands and are recognized as Jews of color. One cannot claim to support minorities and people of color and hold Israel and Israelis in Los Angeles to a double standard: that’s antisemitism.
No candidate for public office should ever single out a nation or a people for the kind of economic discrimination supported by Soto-Martinez. We rejected it when it was Mexico and incited hate against the Latin communities. We rejected it when it was China and incited hate against the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. And, we reject it when it is Israel and incites hate against Israelis and the Jewish community.
Los Angeles is a cosmopolitan city. Here, individuals, friends, and families proudly refer to themselves as “Angelenos” – one people from many places – all calling Los Angeles home.
The kind of dangerous hateful rhetoric and extremist ideology promoted by Soto-Martinez does not reflect the best of our city, nor does it represent what it means to be an Angeleno; we reject it entirely, and we urge all Angelenos to reject his candidacy.The Israeli-American Civic Action Network is dedicated to empowering Israeli immigrants and American allies to create change for a better America, a more secure Israel, and a stronger U.S. – Israel alliance through advocacy education and civic action. Learn more at IsraelUSA.org.