Several members of the public voiced support for Hamas during a six-hour Oakland City Council meeting Nov. 27 before the board unanimously passed a resolution calling for a permanent ceasefire between Israel and the terrorist organization.
Oakland City Council meeting.
In their own words… pic.twitter.com/9deJ1GGJ3I
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) November 29, 2023
The comments sparked indignant responses from California Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state officials.
As Jill McLaughlin reports, via The Epoch Times, The resolution calls for congressional and worldwide support for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, which has been under attack by Israeli forces following Hamas’s murderous rampage in Israel Oct. 7.
The resolution also condemned the recent rise of anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, racist, homophobic, and xenophobic attacks in the city and across the world, including the “doxing,” or public reveal, of information about officials and others who comment about the issue.
Councilman Dan Kalb called for an amendment to the resolution that would have added a statement condemning the mass murder of 1,200—mostly Israeli citizens—by Hamas, but it did not pass.
“I don’t ask a lot of you, but I do ask you to consider and support [the amendment],” Mr. Kalb told councilors.
“Not even clearly mentioning the Hamas mass murder on Oct. 7 is sending the wrong message and an embarrassing message.”
Councilwoman Carroll Fife, who introduced the resolution, did not support adding the amendment. She told other councilors during the meeting that she worked with Jewish and Muslim community members to craft the resolution.
“That was the fourth draft of a resolution created that was intentionally drafted to center on peace,” Ms. Fife said.
“It didn’t name condemnation of Hamas or Israel because they wanted to focus on love, life, and lifting up what we support and not what we condemn.”
One Arab community member called the amendment “racist.”
“As an Arab, asking with this context to condemn Hamas is very anti-Arab racist,” one woman told councilors.
Residents voicing support for both sides of the ongoing battle between Israel and Hamas spoke out during the lengthy public comment period.
“Allowing Hamas to continue and regroup is a threat to all,” one man said.
A number of others spoke in support of Hamas and Palestinians, saying they believed much of the news about Hamas was false or propaganda.
“There have not been beheadings of babies and rapings. Israel murdered their own people on Oct. 7th,” one woman said.
In an incredulous statement, another young woman said:
“Calling Hamas a terrorist organization is ridiculous, racist, and plays into genocidal propaganda that is flooding our media and that we should be doing everything possible to combat,” said
Another resident commented:
“I support the right of Palestinians to resist occupation, including through Hamas, the armed wing of the unified Palestinian resistance.”
One woman, who was cut off by a city council member, said news of the massacre was false.
“The notion that this was a massacre of Jews is a fabricated narrative,” she said.
“Many of those killed on Oct. 7, including children, were killed by the [Israel Defense Forces].”
An elderly man commented, saying,
“Listening to them complain about Hamas violence is like listening to a wife beater complain when his wife finally stands up and fights back.”
Another woman asked the crowd:
“Did anyone else notice that those who oppose this resolution are old white supremacists?”
State officials have since spoken out about the controversial public comments at the meeting.
On Wednesday, Mr. Newsom shared a video on X, formerly Twitter, of those who supported Hamas during the council meeting, disagreeing with their statements.
“Hamas is a terrorist organization,” Mr. Newsom posted.
“They must be called out for what they are: evil.”
State Sen. Scott Wiener called the comments “awful.”
“Oakland City Council passed a [resolution] calling for [a] Gaza ceasefire,” Mr. Wiener posted on X Tuesday.
“When a council member asked to add language condemning Hamas, a stream of public comment praising and supporting Hamas ensued. The council then rejected the request to condemn Hamas. Just awful.”
“Tonight’s meeting was a complete disgrace and will bring nothing constructive to actual Palestinians and Israelis on the ground. What it instead has achieved is the fanning of flames of antisemitism in Oakland,” SFJCRC CEO Gregory said.
At tonight’s #Oakland City Council meeting, a resolution passed in support of an immediate ceasefire that failed to mention the atrocities of #Hamas, including rape, torture, and mass murder of Jews, Bedouins, Thai and Filipino farm workers, and many more.
As disturbing was the… pic.twitter.com/upkBk8h2rL
— JCRC Bay Area (@SFJCRC) November 28, 2023
The Oakland city clerk said they had more than 1,200 comments online.
The resolution will be forwarded to the governor, President Joe Biden, and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Wed, 11/29/2023 – 22:00