Update on Netanyahu's Bay Area Visit

Dear Community,

As you may know, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a visit to the Bay Area this coming Monday, before he heads to New York to address the United Nations General Assembly. We expect there will be significant media coverage around his visit, as well as large protests planned by UnXeptable and other local Israeli and Jewish communities.

Yesterday, JCRC Bay Area, the Jewish Community Federation & Endowment Fund, and JCRC of Silicon Valley sent a joint letter (below) to his office, requesting a private forum to discuss community concerns during his visit. Our offer for dialogue was declined.

In our letter, we highlighted the perils and impact of the reasonableness law and other proposed judicial system changes: “We are concerned these changes could jeopardize the future of liberal democracy and the protection of minority rights in Israel—core values of the U.S.-Israel relationship and our Jewish community.” We urged consensus as the appropriate path forward.

We also called on Netanyahu to press Silicon Valley leaders for action due to rising antisemitism and hate emanating from social media platforms. This is especially relevant considering his scheduled meeting with Elon Musk, whose rhetoric about ADL and amplification of white supremacist themes is inflammatory and dangerous.

For more details on our views, please see our statement: On Israel, Leading With Shared Values.


September 13, 2023

Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister of the State of Israel
3 Eliezer Kaplan Street
Jerusalem, Israel

Cc: Ambassador Marco Sermoneta, Consul General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

On the eve of your visit to San Francisco and Silicon Valley, we are writing to you as representatives of the Bay Area Jewish community—the fourth-largest Jewish population in the United States, which includes thousands of Israelis and Israeli-Americans.

We are hoping for an opportunity to meet with you during your visit to discuss the following issues:

In recent months, our community has grown increasingly troubled by unprecedented unrest and polarization within Israeli society due to the passage of the reasonableness clause, as well as further proposed changes to Israel’s judicial system. We are concerned these changes could jeopardize the future of liberal democracy and the protection of minority rights in Israel—core values of the U.S.-Israel relationship and our Jewish community.

We believe that fundamental changes to Israel’s democratic system require consensus of the Israeli public and urge you to work with the President and opposition leaders to heal today’s divides and forge a unified path.

We also understand you plan to visit Silicon Valley executives to strengthen ties with Israel’s tech and AI sectors. We hope that you use your position of leadership to press for sorely needed reforms to protect Jews and other minorities from rising hate online. A recent poll commissioned by JCRC found that one-third of Bay Area Jews surveyed experienced or directly witnessed antisemitism in the past three years. Respondents cited social media platforms as one of the primary sources of antisemitic incidents. Just last week, X owner Elon Musk fanned the flames of antisemitism by demonizing the Anti-Defamation League and amplifying white supremacist conspiracies.

Thank you for your consideration.


Jan Reicher, Chair, JCRC Bay Area

Tyler Gregory, CEO, JCRC Bay Area

Eileen Ruby, Chair, The Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund

Joy Sisisky, CEO, The Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund

Kotarah Cooper, Chair, JCRC of Jewish Silicon Valley

Jessica Blitchok, Director, JCRC of Jewish Silicon Valley


September 14, 2023


Joy Sisisky