With things going badly in Iraq, the anti-war movement in this country is trying to expand its political base with a series of high-profile marches scheduled for this weekend.
And once again, planners of some of the events are using rising discontent over the war to boost other items on their agenda, starting with vehement criticism of Israel.
A primary sponsor of the new burst of protest: International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), the anti-war group criticized last year for barring speakers who supported Israel and for a vehemently anti-Israel approach to the Mideast conflict.
While most of the images of Israel presented to the American public are of military conflict, a recent mission to Israel sponsored by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, which included City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, City Council President Alex Padilla, Cesar Chavez Foundation President Andres Irlando and myself, revealed something very different. We saw a multiethnic democracy full of citizens, with jaw-dropping stories of survival, demonstrating incredible resilience.
Halfway around the world, we encountered a small nation confronting many of the same challenges we face in Los Angeles and returned convinced that increased contact between Los Angeles and Israel can facilitate the solution of many complex problems at home.
Amid the profusion of billboards along Southern California freeways, motorists are being startled by a new one. It features seven smiling faces of various ethnicities, with one, a woman wearing a black headscarf, holding a small American flag.
The museum world in Los Angeles looks as though it is in for a significant challenge.