The Oakland City Council adopted a resolution Monday night demanding a permanent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas — while rejecting amendments condemning Hamas for terrorism against civilians.
The resolution acknowledges that “over one thousand people in Israel” have been killed (the number is closer to 1,200), and claims that “more than eleven thousand Palestinians in Gaza” were killed, apparently citing Hamas statistics that do not distinguish between terrorist combatants and civilians.
It claims that “sixty six percent” of Americans support a ceasefire, citing a left-wing poll, and ignoring the fact that Rasmussen Reports found exactly the opposite result — that 68% of Americans oppose a ceasefire as a surrender to Hamas and its terrorism.
The council rejected amendments that would have specifically condemned Hamas, as Bay Area public radio station KQED noted:
Dan Kalb, District 1 Councilmember, asked for amendments, but his motion failed. His amendments would have included condemning Hamas for the attack on Oct. 7, murdering more than 1,200 people and holding over 200 people hostage. He also wanted the resolution to address his view that the people on both sides of the conflict are victims of Hamas.
“Not even clearly mentioning the Hamas mass murder on Oct. 7 is sending the wrong message, and an embarrassing message,” he said when introducing the amendments. He ultimately voted to pass the cease-fire resolution as is.
“There will be no Palestinian-Israeli peace with [Hamas] in power and that’s why this resolution must be amended to acknowledge the atrocities of Hamas and include its removal from power,” said Tye Gregory, CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council Bay Area, which has previously called for such an amendment. Gregory identified himself as a “”proud gay Jewish Zionist” who believes in a two-state solution.
The vote on the ceasefire resolution was 8-0, notwithstanding the fact that a ceasefire would leave Hamas in charge of Gaza.
Oakland has been described recently as a “failed progressive utopia” due to rising crime, drugs, and homelessness. It has been the scene for many radical anti-Israel protests, including an effort last month to block the departure of a ship supposedly heading to Israel. The nearby city of Richmond, which is a depressed area also known for its radical politics, also passed a resolution last month condemning Israel and effectively siding with Hamas — before the Israeli military had begun serious operations in Gaza.
City councils have no authority over foreign policy, but can affect people-to-people relations and economic ties. The Bay Area has close connections with Israel through the role of Israeli high-tech startups and tech workers in the Silicon Valley ecosystem.
Update: Video has emerged of the speakers at the city council meeting who opposed criticism Hamas in an amendment.
WATCH: Last night’s #Oakland City Council meeting was disturbing. The council chambers were plagued for hours with support for terrorists, #antisemitism, and denial of the October 7th attacks. The Jewish community in the Bay Area stands strong against hate, and we call on our… pic.twitter.com/9cbHcGFMAw
— JCRC Bay Area (@SFJCRC) November 28, 2023
Their statements are full of hatred and falsehoods. The video is going viral, both for its comedic value and its shock value.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.