On Tuesday, nine elected Los Angeles officials gathered at City Hall in a show of solidarity, voicing their support for Israel in its war against the terrorism wrought by Hamas in Gaza.
The gathering began with a moment of silence, during which everyone bowed their heads to show respect for those who have lost their lives in the ongoing conflict, according to a press release from the office of Bob Blumenfield, a council member who organized the event.
“I’m proud that we have a cease-fire today,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said, reports the Los Angeles Times. He went on to note that Los Angeles “has one of the most diverse populations on the face of the Earth, that is one of the great cities of Jews, of Israelis, of Arabs.” He then expressed the city’s commitment to “speak out against the terror that the Hamas regime has unleashed.”
David Siegel, Israel’s consul general in Los Angeles, reminded those in attendance that Israel has, since the beginning of the conflict in June, been hit with close to 4,000 rockets. Hamas has so far rejected at least five ceasefires and has violated at least four.
The Times reports that one reporter asked whether Tuesday’s City Hall gathering was “anti-Palestinian” because it did not include any Hamas sympathizers. Blumenfield reportedly responded to the reporter’s question by stating, “No, what we are against is the Hamas regime and the terror it is inflicting.”
On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke publicly about the war in his nation, expressing sympathy for the loss of life as a result of the conflict, while pointing out Israel’s commitment to creating peace in the region. “Israel deeply regrets every civilian casualty, every single one. The people of Gaza are not our enemy. … Our enemy is Hamas.”
Netanyahu asserted that “every civilian casualty is a tragedy, a tragedy of Hamas’ own making.”