For Immediate Release
October 25, 2023

JCRC Bay Area condemns the resolution calling for the City of Richmond to stand “in solidarity with the Palestinian people of Gaza” that was passed yesterday. The evening’s procedures were marked by chaos and lack of decorum. Outcry against the resolution by Richmond citizens was so intense and brought enough backlash that the that council was forced to extend its meeting far beyond its scheduled ending time even though speakers were only given one minute to voice their thoughts and the public comment period was closed to additional speakers at 11:30 p.m. Confusion over which members of the public would be allowed to make in-person comments, and the virtual overflow space hitting capacity, resulted in blatant censorship of public comments. 

Presented yesterday at a meeting by Richmond City Council by Mayor Eduardo Martinez, the resolution promotes propaganda, weaponizes historical inaccuracy, and accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing and apartheid in Gaza. The resolution was amended during the proceedings but remained inflammatory and biased. The vitriol of resolution supporters was also notable. 

“Hamas had a great night in Richmond, with five hours of chaos and unrelenting repulsive speech against Israel and Jews. The council demonstrated profound ignorance and incompetence. Richmond could not bring itself to condemn mass murder against Jewish civilians and is not a safe place for Jews. There will be consequences for this taxpayer-funded circus,” said Tyler Gregory, JCRC Bay Area CEO. 

JCRC would like to extend our gratitude to Council Member Cesar Zepeda, our sole Jewish ally on the council, who voted ‘no’ on the resolution and went to great lengths to defend our community. Zepeda traveled to Israel with A Wider Bridge, our LGBTQ+ partner organization, last year. 

JCRC also applauds and underscores the following public statements made by officials attending the meeting: 

  • John Gioia, Contra Costa Supervisor, whose statement read: “The proposed resolution fails to condemn the terrorist Hamas’ killing of innocent Israeli men, women, and children, which unfortunately started this recent brutal warfare. The passage of any resolution, regardless of attempts to amend it, will only contribute to the divisiveness.” 
  • Tessa Rudnick, El Cerrito Mayor Pro Tempore, who said, “If the five members of the council who voted for this resolution truly cared about peace, they would have pulled this resolution in favor of a meeting with our local religious and civic leaders and created a collective statement of unity. However, they actively chose to put a target on the Jewish community.” 

JCRC Bay Area is the largest collective voice of Bay Area Jews, working in pursuit of a more just world where Jewish identity is embraced and all people thrive. By building bridges and working in coalition with diverse ethnic, faith, political, and civic communities, we foster partnerships, provide meaningful educational and engagement opportunities, and build consensus for actionable solutions to real-world challenges.