OP-ED: A rabbi’s concerns about Chelsea Byers

An op-ed in this journal has raised a warning flag about the candidacy of Chelsea Byers for WeHo City Council, because of her past stated posts and actions, as well as her failure to provide a clear response to queries made of her on her stand. (Can an Anti-Jewish candidate win a seat on the West Hollywood City Council? Friday – May 27, 2022 by Larry Block)

I do not want to make blanket accusations about anti-semitism or anti-Jewishness, but I must raise my own concerns about the impact her perspectives may have on our community in West Hollywood.

West Hollywood has been a great example of a community embracing our very diverse communities and a historic safe haven for LGBTQ . A significant part of that community is Jewish, encompassing those whose roots go back many decades in the US as well as the more recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Iran.

 As a result of our past collective history of  persecution, for the past two millenia, we are generally very supportive of the State of Israel and very concerned when criticism of Israel runs over into blanket denunciations and spillover against Jews in general. We have seens signs of this as attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions have increased far faster than against other minority groups. Here is one summary, from the ADL, on the size of this threat :https://www.jta.org/2022/05/02/politics/adl-says-anti-zionism-runs-the-same-risk-of-violent-attacks-as-antisemitism As one example, our granddaughter just testified before a meeting of the UC Regents on the impact of groups like Students for Justice  in Palestine ( SJP) in actively persecuting Jewish students at UC San Diego. She herself was stalked by activists from SJP, and her photos uploaded through their social media, which led to her being bombarded with a smear campaign.

 I have concerns because Chesea Byers was herself a founder of the chapter of SJP at Northern Arizona University.
We need a clear declaration from the candidate that she will respect the concerns of our community:

1) Absolutely renounce any actions by SJP in persecuting and disturbing students of Israeli and Jewish backgrounds in general, and especially in any connection with the City of West Hollywood.

2) Not to use the position on the  West Hollywood City Council as a platform to deny the legitimacy of the existence of the State of Israel,nor to push  for BDS( Boycott, Divest, Sanction) against Israel; the BDS organization has as its publicly stated goal, the destruction of the State of Israel, and it is a movement that blithely ignores the numerous nations that commit atrocities against their own citizens and neighboring nations.

This is a minimum that  a serious candidate owes to the voters of West Hollywood.It must be answered.

Sincerely yours,

Rabbi Dr. Norbert Weinberg
Senior Rabbi
Hollywood Temple Beth El
1317 N. Crescent Heights Blvd,
West Hollywood, CA 90046
Direct Line: 323-428-9817  

follow us on: www.rabbinorbert.comwww.facebook.com/htbel

www.htbel.orgrabbiweinberg@htbel.org

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BrownEyedBoy
BrownEyedBoy
2 months ago

Let’s back up a bit. Why was this candidate going to kick-off her campaign by an event hosted by mega-developers?!? She is a “human-rights activist”, coulnd’t she organize the community in someone’s backyard to launch her campaign?!?

She chose to get into bed w/ these developers, who would finance her campaign probably because no-one else would. That says everything about Chelsea and what type of councilperson she would be–more so than her views on the Middle East.

No thanks & bye gurl.

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
2 months ago
Reply to  BrownEyedBoy

That’s what I’m saying! I’m much more concerned about how she’s going to destroy our neighborhoods. Btw, everyone in West Hollywood thinks they’re an “activist” because they walked around with a cardboard sign once.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
2 months ago
Reply to  BrownEyedBoy

Absolutely. What this really shows is that this is provincial town of extraordinarily parochial interests. There are naive cliques that will turn an eye to otherwise offensive policies and politics of the incestuous cabals in which they cohabitate. The intolerant ideological authoritarianism on the left (as exhibited by the internet trail left by Byers) is every bit as toxic as the intolerant ideological authoritarianism on the right (as exhibited by the internet trail left by donald trump). Let’s not forget that Byers and her extreme agenda are in bed with Erickson and Horvath. Shyne has other issues of whose political… Read more »

Clarity is Everything
Clarity is Everything
2 months ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

Often you make sensible, pragmatic arguments however here it would be good to separate Ms. Byers from your presumptions about her relationships with Shyne, Erickson and Horvath. A person with no bias in this discussion might consider Ms. Byers advocacy for Palestinians as a just and noble cause. Have you considered that or do you prefer to cloud the picture by presumed anti-semitism claims? Or have you spoken with Ms. Byers or are able to read her heart and mind?

Greg in WeHo
Greg in WeHo
2 months ago

I’m Jewish and I don’t care if she supports the Palestinians that’s not antisemitic. Supporting Hamas however is–it is a designated terrorist group devoted to killing Jews everywhere. She needs to explain her comments.

WehoFan
WehoFan
2 months ago
Reply to  Greg in WeHo

The anti-semites in Weho enjoy criticizing Israel but will never condemn hamas.

Last edited 2 months ago by WehoFan
Joshua88
Joshua88
2 months ago

I agree Ms Byers should speak out and be heard.

However, I take what the ADL says with a grain of salt.

Marc
Marc
2 months ago
Reply to  Joshua88

What does the 88 stand for?

Steven Solomon
Steven Solomon
2 months ago

I am Jewish and I support the right of Israel to exist. I also support the Palestinian people against the reprehensible and inhumane treatment they are forced to live under. That is not antisemitism. That is standing against injustices and not blindly following the Israeli government, regardless of who’s in charge and what their policies are. I also support BLM against the unjust treatment many Black Americans have to live with from law enforcement and other places of institutional racism. That doesn’t make me any less American or patriotic. I don’t know enough about Chelsea Byers to know if I will… Read more »

WehoFan
WehoFan
2 months ago
Reply to  Steven Solomon

Speak for yourself Steven. Jew haters always use Israel as a piñata.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
2 months ago
Reply to  WehoFan
Robin
Robin
2 months ago
Reply to  WehoFan

What makes you say Steven is a “Jew hater”? Millions of people share his views & it has nothing to do with antisemitism. That’s an ugly term that shouldn’t be pinned on anyone without very good reasons

WehoFan
WehoFan
2 months ago
Reply to  Robin

Millions of people share his views & it has everything to do with anti-semitism. Criticize them.

Marc
Marc
2 months ago
Reply to  WehoFan

Steve Solomon may just be a self-hating Jew. And yes he is less American and patriotic than most folks.

Joshua88
Joshua88
2 months ago
Reply to  Steven Solomon

Nice to see some sanity amidst the broken records of the people who conflate pro-Palestinian with antisemitism.

Not talking to them anymore.
Can’t fix stupid.

WehoFan
WehoFan
2 months ago
Reply to  Joshua88

Calling people stupid for defending Israel?

No anti-semitism in weho.

Last edited 2 months ago by WehoFan
greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
2 months ago
Reply to  Joshua88

Yup, this is spot on.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
2 months ago
Reply to  Steven Solomon

Israel has nothing to do with reprehensible and inhumane living conditions the Palestinian people live under. Those people are propaganda tools to make people like you think what you do about Israel.

Robin
Robin
2 months ago
Reply to  Steven Solomon

I agree and very well said. As you said, there’s much yet to be learned about Chelsea Byers before I could make up my mind, in reality I don’t think she stands a chance of getting elected. Your commentary covered a lot of separate issues & points and you’re spot on in all cases in my book

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
2 months ago
Reply to  Steven Solomon

I think your comment shows that this portrayal of Ms. Byers as anti-Semitic is pulling people into an argument about Palestine, and away from the real problems with this lady. Here are some of these problems: 1. She’s too inexperienced and lacks maturity. 2. We already have representation from people in the non-profit world. 3. She seems preoccupied with issues that the City Council has no control over, and won’t focus on the local issues that we really need help with. 4. She seems to be desperate for attention, even though she seems to care. Let her mature for a… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by WeHo Mary!
Bias
Bias
2 months ago
Reply to  WeHo Mary!

Palestinian human rights are a main concern for Ms. Byers. If you choose to subscribe to the claim that she is anti-Semitic that would be on you. What is your bias?

Weho Mary!
Weho Mary!
2 months ago

I’m sure Chelsea has good intentions, but judging by her instagram account, she needs some more time to mature. I feel like she’s just trying to fit in with the rest of the crowd. Let’s wait until her face matches the glasses she’s wearing.

It also makes me think of another Chelsea, Chelsea Handler, who posted videos of Louis Farrakhan, without realizing he’s an anti-Semite and homophobe. Sometimes people with good intentions attach themselves to people and causes without doing research.

Last edited 2 months ago by Weho Mary!
WehoFan
WehoFan
2 months ago
Reply to  Weho Mary!

No excuses. No anti-semitism in weho.

Michael on havenhurst
Michael on havenhurst
2 months ago

Sadly, Lynn Hoopingarner is a prime example of an excellent volunteer public servant being falsely accused of racism and humiliated by a collection of dreadful anti+semitic mysengist politicians like Shyne; Horvath and Erickson who are supporting the anti-gay white men and jew hating Byers.

Last edited 2 months ago by Michael on havenhurst
Examining Righteous Indignation
Examining Righteous Indignation
2 months ago

Would agree with the statement of Lynn Hoopengarner being falsely accused thus needlessly removing herself as a most credible voice from the PC and potential integrity of future projects. There is not a single project that failed to benefit from her examination and expertise. On the other hand Chelsea Byers expressed advocacy for the Palestinians as have multiple countries and leaders throughout the world. This was not a case of antisemitism unless one chooses to make it a case of righteous indignation which is a reactive emotion of anger over perceived mistreatment, insult or malice of another. Some feel it… Read more »

Rudi Logan
Rudi Logan
2 months ago

What’s “mysengist”? Can’t find it in Webster’s and my gibberish-to-English phrasebook has gone missing.

WehoFan
WehoFan
2 months ago

This story is shining a light on the anti-semites living and working in West Hollywood. It’s important to expose them and their hatred for Jewish people.

Michael on Havenhurst
Michael on Havenhurst
2 months ago

Anti- Semites Erickson and Horvath along with Shyne must be confronted at every meeting about their support for Byers. All four of these left wing fascist Democrats should be driven from politics.

Eastside Straight Girl
Eastside Straight Girl
2 months ago

Hypocrisy @ it’s Finest! Planning Commissioner Lynn Hoopingarner questions the traffic jams that will arise if a new hotel project on Sunset Blvd. does not improve its traffic flow design. She gives an example of a possible large “Persian wedding” being held there & folks having trouble parking. Almost instantaneously she’s off the commission after only 72 hours  Along with many other groups, it looks like the influential Persian big developer community are becoming quite good at playing the “grievance card” while lining their pockets & having great influence and impact on our beloved city of west Hollywood! Speaking the Truth,… Read more »

Examining Righteous Indignation
Examining Righteous Indignation
2 months ago

Consider this. West Hollywood was a garden variety community made up of all types of individuals. Since city hood the initial pronouncements of fairness to all, giving a list of pronouncements about equality, space for those of a gay persuasion to live safely without retribution. Currently it seems as though LGBTQIA has become the driving force for some decidedly fringe elements charting their personal agendas and disregarding the normal mechanics of maintaining a viable, safe and fair municipal government for ALL. Could there be a comparison made to Israel taking over the Palestinian land? For every perceived slight or action… Read more »

Examining Righteous Indignation
Examining Righteous Indignation
2 months ago

Please review the West Hollywood Mission Statement and Core Values. It says nothing about the recent hijacking by some of the LGBTQIA fringe elements pretending to be mainstream.

https://www.weho.org/city-government/city-manager/capital-projects/strategic-initiatives-archive/strategic-plan/mission-statement-core-values

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
2 months ago

Israel didn’t take over Palestinian land.

Examining Righteous Indignation
Examining Righteous Indignation
2 months ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

In 1967 Israel absorbed the whole of Palestine in addition to territory from Syria and Egypt. By the end of the was,Israel expelled at least 300,000 Palestinians from their homes in addition to 130,000 that were displaced in 1948, gaining territory that was three and one half times its size.

That’s for a starter.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
2 months ago

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, ….. it’s a duck!

Eastside Straight Girl
Eastside Straight Girl
2 months ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

yes, agree it’s quite the duck!

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
2 months ago

I also await a strong condemnation of Ms. Byers’ clear racism from Sepi Shyne. I expect I’ll be waiting a long time. Shyne can’t Reiki her away from this level of hatred and intolerance.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
2 months ago

We live in a world of guilt by association brought on by the likes of John Erickson and Lindsey Horvath, both of whom must now answer the same questions regarding their appointment of and support of Chelsea Byers.

WehoFan
WehoFan
2 months ago

No more anti-semitism in weho. Name and shame them.

Last edited 2 months ago by WehoFan
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