DEAR WEHO: Nothing sketchy about Shyne and Byers’ Israel trip

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It is shameful and outrageous that WEHOville would publish a screed invoking conspiratorial and patently false allegations over the participation of Mayor Sepi Shyne and Councilmember Chelsea Byers on a recent American Jewish Committee (AJC) Project Interchange (PI) California Political Leaders Trip to Israel. Contrary to Larry Block’s baseless assertions, there was nothing secretive nor nefarious about this trip, or its participants from across the state. I can attest to this not only in my capacity as AJC’s Los Angeles Director, but because I was privileged to accompany the delegation on this educational experience.

Project Interchange brings opinion leaders and policy makers to Israel for customized educational experiences. PI trips do not aim to convince anyone to adopt any subset of views regarding Jews or Israel. In fact, our hope in hosting these trips is to create space for our attendees to ask questions and engage with leaders they may otherwise not have the opportunity to meet. Through PI, government officials, university leaders, civic and religious leaders, and media professionals are exposed to diverse perspectives, share best practices, and establish new and mutually beneficial relationships with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

The August PI trip amplified these objectives and included meetings across the political, security, and social services spectrum – with officials whose responsibilities mirror those of our California leaders. We trust that Mayor Shyne and Councilmember Byers will be more than forthcoming in sharing their perspectives from this experience with their West Hollywood constituents. As for WEHOville, we hope that in the future, you will exercise better judgement by turning to us before publication should you need clarification on the integrity or transparency of our work.

 

Sincerely,

Richard S. Hirschhaut
Los Angeles Director
American Jewish Committee

 


 

Hi Richard,

Thank you for your letter. WEHOville has submitted public records requests to the West Hollywood City Clerk and among the requests are communications between you and both Councilmembers Byers and Shyne. It is not our job to chase your organization, because the organization is oblivious to the fact that both councilmembers were the recipients of an all-expenses-paid trip to Israel, and they decided to hide it from constituents they represent.

They are the ones responsible for sharing what they learned from their journey, and sadly, it looks like they didn’t want to share much. As you state in your letter: “We trust that Mayor Shyne and Councilmember Byers will be more than forthcoming in sharing their perspectives from this experience with their West Hollywood constituents.”

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If there is anything good to share about your organization, both council members failed to give you any credit. Not a photo on their social media. Not a word or smile. Ya know why? I’ll venture to say they did not want to piss off their Hamas, Palestinian, and Iranian friends who are opponents of Israel. They didn’t stand up for you.

And let’s face it, you are trying to buy off politicians — how many other people in West Hollywood have you offered an all expenses paid trip to Israel?

The only exposure your trip got was what WEHOville gave it. The only awareness that was spread was spread by WEHOville. Your letter shared more about your organization than either council person, so thank you for that.

xo
Larry

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DearWeho
DearWeho
9 months ago

Mr. Hirschhaut, Woke politics is one of the causes of the rise of antisemitism on U.S. college campuses – and beyond. Your organization perhaps has made an error in judgment, time will tell. These Councilmembers kept an all-expense trip to Israel secret when representing a city that was founded by Jewish Russian refugees. You remind me of the German Jews during the rise of Hitler; their arrogance blinded them with denial. American Jews did little to nothing to help the Jews of Europe during the Holocaust. I don’t expect the “American Jewish Committee” to be any different with standing up… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by DearWeho
Tom
Tom
9 months ago

I would suggest rather than accepting trips to learn another perspective on “things,” whether in the Middle East, mid-West or even mid-Wilshire Shyne and Byers focus on the jobs they were elected to: running the City.

Eric Neshanian
Eric Neshanian
9 months ago
Reply to  Tom

What is the Azeri-American population in WeHo? De Min I’mis.

Bad Faith
Bad Faith
9 months ago

These two preach compassion but exhibit nothing but self righteous pronouncements from their positions. The qualities expounded by Martin Luther King embraced much of the nation however it evidently escaped these two.

If Shyne & Byers had one iota of sense, compassion, respect and responsibility , they might have chosen to be present at the 60 th Anniversary of the March in Washington representing the City of West Hollywood which presumes to support these qualities. Another act of Bad Faith. So, perhaps Mr. David Wilson would like to give an opinion here.

Jamie Francis
Jamie Francis
9 months ago

Is this their version political privilege? Not providing details or explaining their excursions that taxpayer funds are going towards? This alleged total lack of ethical transparency and a total disregard for WEHO residents who have every right to know their national and international travel, political affiliation groups and meetings when they are acting in official capacity or their political office for private misuse of power and personal pursuits! They are representing West Hollywood but it seems that they are traveling for their own interests, agendas, and political aspirations or motivations, then cover-up the fact of what these exact purposes of… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Jamie Francis
Handwriting on the Wall
Handwriting on the Wall
9 months ago
Reply to  Jamie Francis

Excellent observations Jamie.

Joshua88
Joshua88
9 months ago
Reply to  Jamie Francis

Such wasted time for your rant.
AJC paid for the trip.

The CC is paid a pittance. $1568/month.

Larry Block
Admin
9 months ago
Reply to  Joshua88

Project Interchange paid for the trip, and your monthly allowance forgets all the other benefits in the package. So your half truth is fully a dishonest answer.

Joshua88
Joshua88
9 months ago
Reply to  Larry Block

I know they get benefits.

Joshua88
Joshua88
9 months ago
Reply to  Larry Block

I tried to amend my response and got an odd message that would not let me edit. It said I was posting too fast and to slow down.

At any rate, the data did not include the breakdown of benefits and those were NOT the point of the previous rant. The city did NOT pay for their trip. THAT was the point.

Larry Block
Admin
9 months ago
Reply to  Joshua88

nobody said the city paid for the trip, the article is clear is was sponsored by Project Interchange.

JR Birdsong
JR Birdsong
9 months ago

Benjamin Netanyahu is a horrific right-wing zealot. WHY is there any association between his government and that of WeHo? What kind of ‘boondoggle’ was this? Were City public funds used? I hope not.

Michael Cautillo
Michael Cautillo
9 months ago

From my perspective, I want my brand new councilmembers in the city to which they just were elected LEARNING TO DO THEIR JOBS. I don’t need them anywhere else right now. We’ve got so many issues here to address and they are doing a terrible job so far.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
9 months ago

I guess fixing the potholes on Detroit Street isn’t as fun and glamorous as hanging out in 5 Star hotels 11,000 miles away, courtesy of some questionable organization, as pretending to solve the world’s problems. If Byers and Shyne had any dignity, they would both resign at once. They have no clue what they were elected to do. It makes one question every single decision they have made about anything, including what brand of paperclips they use at City Hall. Unbelievable.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
9 months ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

You care about Detroit street now? Isn’t that where you claim all the poor marxists live?

Reminder: you were wrong about the Pump space 🙂 That corner was leased not even 1 month after Pump closed.

Mikie
Mikie
9 months ago

Exactly! I simply cannot understand why these two went traipsing off to Israel, when our little city, which is supposedly in their hands, has terrible problems!
Either they don’t have a clue how to solve our problems, they don’t want to solve them, they’re on the take, or they are running away and pretending they’re big shots, who are important in the world! Hey! Maybe it’s all four reasons!

blueyedguy
blueyedguy
9 months ago

Let’s get real. The greatest enemy against mankind are religions and politicians. The former in the United States don’t pay taxes and the latter are nothing but them that can’t do become political hacks. Basically, everyone you loathed in school. Just look at the West Hollywood City Council with the exception of Meister.

Same bad actors
Same bad actors
9 months ago

Azer is a former Russian now fragile democracy trying to self-navigate through an onslaught of Russian (and other regional bad actors) interference and propaganda. Time will tell. Back to pro Putin Armenia.

Eric Neshanian
Eric Neshanian
9 months ago

Not a democracy.

Not self navigating. See Muslim brotherhood – Turkey, Pakistan, Azerbaijan axis. The other regional bad actor is their ally.

Also, allied with Israel and US. As those countries have no problem joining forces with violent autocrats foe their own self interest.

Keep on spinning 😵‍💫!!!

resident
resident
9 months ago

The homely photos aside, creeps me out that the two anti-Jewish women got a free trip to Israel.

West
West
9 months ago

Whatever one’s position on Israeli domestic & foreign policy or the Zionist lobby in US, we should all be grateful that criticism of elected officials and civil discourse is still possible on wehoville. Whoever takes issue with that is part of the problem.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
9 months ago
Reply to  West

Thank you for bolstering and celebrating the ideals of free public discourse. Those who seek to shout down diversity of thought are ideologically intolerant and toxic on both extremes of the political spectrum. On one side it’s called trumpian, and on the other side it might well be a rose by another name, but it stinks just the same.

blueyedguy
blueyedguy
9 months ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

Freedom of speech? Thank the sky gods the internet happened. Only YouTube and Google is totally censored against freedom of speech. By the billionaire tech leaders who should be taxed at 99%. The enemy elites control traditional media aka dying newspapers like the LA Times and irrelevant soon to die cable news like Fox, MSNBC ot a Morning Joe. Thank God for X AKA Twitter. whatever you think of Trump, he’s back on X that’s freedom of speech thanks to Elon who can buy any political hack and spit them out. What’s not freedom of speech is Google censoring any… Read more »

Eastside Straight Girl
Eastside Straight Girl
9 months ago
Reply to  blueyedguy

To Blueyedguy: I have read your posts and it’s refreshing to hear your truth! You hit on some very important points that the far left refuses to acknowledge! Keep the comments coming….I am enjoying them!

Same bad actors
Same bad actors
9 months ago

Armenia is pro Putin and Azer is pro democracy. Google and you’ll get your answers.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
9 months ago

I’ve been to Azerbaijan. They are ruled by one of the most corrupt families in the world, and I’m including the T***p crime family. They are not democratic.

blueyedguy
blueyedguy
9 months ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

Corrupt families? Why why are you excluding the Biden crime family?

Nice Try
Nice Try
9 months ago

Nothing to see here. We always try to buy off politicians.

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