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NewsHeadlinesAs San Francisco Board of Supervisors plans to introduce Israel-Hamas resolution, Bay...

As San Francisco Board of Supervisors plans to introduce Israel-Hamas resolution, Bay Area Jewish group voices concern

At tomorrow’s San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Dean Preston is expected to introduce a resolution calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war. The current wave of Israel-Hamas violence began on October 7, when Hamas terrorists from Gaza attacked Israeli civilians, murdering 1,200 people and kidnapping around 240. Widespread sexual violence on the part of Hamas was also reported as being part of the massacre. To date, Israel’s retaliation has seen around 15,000 Gaza residents killed, leading voices on the American far left to call Israel’s war campaign a “genocide.”

Supervisor Preston’s resolution is not expected to contain language condemning Hamas. The omission has moved the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Bay Area to plan a vigil for the Israeli hostages in front of City Hall before the meeting.

Tomorrow’s San Francisco meeting follows an Oakland City Council meeting from November 27 where Oakland’s council unanimously passed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the war. At that meeting, when Oakland Councilmember Dan Kalb proposed amending the resolution’s language to account for the actions of Hamas on October 7, community members stepped forward voicing forceful objections: 

“Israel murdered their own people on October 7,” one speaker said. Said another, “The notion that this was a massacre of Jews is a fabricated narrative. Many of those killed on Oct. 7, including children, were killed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). An amendment condemning Hamas is bald propaganda.”

Still another speaker called the Zionist speakers on hand “old white supremacists.” Another referred to Hamas as the “armed wing of the unified Palestinian resistance.” 

JCRC wrote in a statement about the Oakland meeting, “Residents defended Hamas’ atrocities, spewed blatant lies about the state of Israel, and used antisemitic slurs against Jewish speakers, while most councilmembers remained silent about their venomous statements. This council meeting made international news and sowed even deeper divisions in the community in this charged moment.”

The Oakland meeting was condemned by leaders around California, including Governor Gavin Newsom, who tweeted, “Hamas is a terrorist organization. They must be called out for what they are: evil.” U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, who himself has voiced support for a ceasefire, wrote, “It’s shocking to see people continue to downplay, deny, or even seek to justify their October 7th attacks.” Also critical of the meeting in Oakland were Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, who called the comments “deeply disturbing,” and state Sen. Scott Weiner, who highlighted the council’s refusal to condemn Hamas. 

The Beat spoke with CEO of JCRC Bay Area Tyler Gregory on Monday for an exclusive interview. Speaking on the “pretty alarming” rise in antisemitism among American leftists, Gregory said, “This is our moment to catch them in the act. I think they’ve sort of jumped the shark here, and we now have an opportunity to hold them accountable.”

He added, “Many don’t want to admit that there’s a problem with antisemitism [on the left], because they associate antisemitism with the other side – with white nationalism, the far right, things like that. But we know that it’s been there all along and it’s been a blind spot in the progressive movement…And I say that as someone who cares about the left and is part of the left.”

Asked about the long-term outlook for antisemitism, Gregory said, “We had a spike in antisemitism after the May, 2021 skirmish between Israel and Hamas…And we’ve seen a permanent rise in antisemitism since then. And so if you think about the scale of this war in comparison to that, and also the scale of antisemitism we’re seeing, this is not just a short-term problem that’s gonna last the duration of the war.”

He went on to explain that American Jews have been put into a “false box,” with people on the left classifying Jews as a “white religious privileged minority” when “everything about that is problematic.” Said Gregory, “Antisemitism is a systemic form of hate that’s baked into American society, like other forms of hate, like anti-Black racism or homophobia. People don’t know who we are and what we need.” He highlighted the facts that 1 in 4 Bay Area Jewish households have people of color living in them, 20% of Bay Area Jews are themselves people of color, and the majority of Israeli Jews are not white. 

Although a majority of Americans across the political spectrum support Israel in the current war, Americans are more divided on how Israel is approaching its war effort. In recent days, this has led the Biden administration to come down firmly on Israeli leadership to make a stronger effort to spare civilian lives in Gaza.  

 



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Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro is a writer & filmmaker. As a screenwriter, he’s won a Fade In Award and written numerous feature films in development by companies including WWE, Mandalay Sports Media, Game1, and Select Films. He is also the resident script doctor for Rebel Six Films (producers of A&E’s “Hoarders”). As a journalist, Eric’s won a California Journalism Award and is co-owner and editor of The Milpitas Beat, a Silicon Valley newspaper with tens of thousands of monthly readers that has won the Golden Quill Award as well as the John Swett Award for Media Excellence. As a filmmaker, Eric’s directed award-winning feature films that have premiered at the Fantasia Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, and Shriekfest, and been endorsed by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Eric’s apocalyptic novella “It’s Only Temporary” appears next to Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” on Nightmare Magazine’s list of the 100 Best Horror Novels of All Time. He lives in Northern California with his wife, Rhoda, and their two sons.

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