B’nai B’rith International is deeply disappointed that United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA)—one of the largest labor unions in Los Angeles, representing more than 35,000 teachers—has endorsed Ron Gochez for a seat on the Los Angeles City Council.
Gochez is known for spreading hate, including making anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements.
In 2002, Gochez wrote a letter to the San Diego State University student newspaper asserting, “The Jewish-owned media continue to blind the masses with propaganda to keep them in fear.” He has also lamented that no current city council members are “pro-Palestine.” Gochez has used his Facebook page to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state by comparing it to apartheid South Africa, encouraging divestment from Israel’s economy and referring to the country as “occupied Palestine (AKA Israel).”
UTLA’s decision to endorse a purveyor of hate speech for public office threatens to stoke ethnic tensions in Los Angeles and legitimize his extremist and hateful views. We call on the UTLA to withdraw its endorsement of Gochez and hope voters will consider his record of inciteful statements when voting for city council.