Thursday October 26, 2023 9:39 p.m.
RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) — The Richmond City Council passed a resolution this week affirming that the city supports the Palestinian people and accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing. The meeting lasted several hours and ended with a 5-1 vote. There is now division throughout the city.
“Richmond is not a city that welcomes us,” said Arnen Oren, a native of Israel and longtime business owner in Richmond. “I don’t feel welcome here. This decision by the city council was dysfunctional and should not have happened.”
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The Bay Area’s Islamic community applauds the decision.
“This is good news after three weeks of just horrible tragedy,” said Zahra Billoo, CEO of the Bay Area section of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “We are on the brink of genocide, and yet politicians, Hollywood celebrities and school districts continue to say they stand with Israel.”
Billoo says she hopes other cities will do the same.
“Richmond was brave last night,” she said. “What we hope is that they inspire those who have been afraid to speak out to know that they can do it.”
Members of the Jewish community are now wondering if they have a future in Richmond.
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“We are not going to let the Richmond public forget this egregious vote,” said Tyler Gregory, CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council. “The fact that there is no recognition of Jewish humanity and Jewish trauma that is happening right now really makes residents question if this is the right place for them to live.” »
Oren echoes this statement.
“The city of Richmond has to deal with the city of Richmond,” Oren said. “There is an unfortunate crime. Homeless people come to my terrace and ask to use the outdoor phone chargers. I don’t see the town hall coming to talk to me about this, and yet they do it.”
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