Home » Richmond Seeks to Affirm Support and Solidarity With Palestinian People of Gaza

Richmond Seeks to Affirm Support and Solidarity With Palestinian People of Gaza

by CC News

On Tuesday, the Richmond City Council will vote on a resolution affirming Richmond’s Support and solidarity with the Palestinian People of Gaza.

According to the Agenda:

Resolution affirming Richmond’s solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza and condemnation of collective punishment and ethnic cleansing, while reaffirming the city’s commitment to combating antisemitism, ethno-nationalism, and advocating for peaceful diplomacy and the dignity and safety of all communities.


Considering recent events, it’s essential for Richmond’s city council to reflect on our community’s role in the broader global landscape and to stand in solidarity with oppressed people everywhere.

The UN Human Rights Council has expressed grave concerns about the treatment of the Palestinian People. Given this context and understanding the U.S.’s historical backing of Israel, Richmond should evaluate its stance. There are concerns about war crimes against Palestinians due to this support. The lessons from the Afghanistan and Iraq situations further emphasize the need for a measured response in international matters.

At the same time, Richmond acknowledges the importance of safety and dignity for the Jewish community. The city is committed to combating any form of antisemitism. Our discussions should focus on these issues, ensuring Richmond’s actions are consistent with our commitments.

Resolution Affirming Richmond’s Support and Solidarity with the Palestinian People of Gaza

WHEREAS, the City of Richmond stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people of Gaza, who are currently facing a campaign of ethnic cleansing and collective punishment by the state of Israel; and

WHEREAS, collective punishment is considered a war crime under international law, and refers to a form of sanction imposed on persons or a group of persons in response to a crime committed by one of them or a member of the group; and

WHEREAS, the state of Israel is engaging in collective punishment against the Palestinian people in Gaza in response to Hamas attacks on Israel; and

WHEREAS, this collective punishment of the Palestinian people includes shutting off all access to electricity, drinking water, food, and humanitarian aid; and

WHEREAS, the UN says approximately 2 million people in Gaza may soon run out of drinking water and all medical care; and

WHEREAS, ethnic cleaning refers to the creation of an ethnically homogenous geographic area through the elimination of unwanted ethnic groups by deportation, forcible displacement, or genocide; and

WHEREAS, Israel is now engaged in an ethnic cleansing campaign by explicitly requiring two million Palestinians to leave Gaza immediately or risk being bombed in their homes by the Israeli army; and

WHEREAS, the Gaza Strip, one of the most densely populated places on Earth, has been repeatedly referred to by human rights groups as “the world’s largest open-air prison” even prior to this conflict; and

WHEREAS, Gaza is known as “the world’s largest open-air prison” due to ongoing, unbearable living conditions imposed by the state of Israel, including a full air, land and sea blockade, enclosure of its borders by concrete walls and barbed wire fences, and the strict prohibition of Palestinians from leaving and entering the territory freely; and

WHEREAS, this blockade on Gaza has caused a 42% unemployment rate, while 84% of the population relies on humanitarian aid, 41% of Palestinians have too little food, 60% of Palestinian children are anemic, and the Gazan population cannot count on more than 2-4 hours of continuous electrical power a day; and

WHEREAS, prior to this current water shortage, only 1% of Gaza population has access to safe drinking water, leaving Gaza’s population – half of whom are children – increasingly vulnerable to waterborne diseases, infections, and dehydration; and

WHEREAS, Israel has not allowed many common cancer diagnosis and treatment tools, including PET CT and radiotherapy, to enter Gaza since 2007; and

WHEREAS, pediatric cancer cases that are typically considered treatable are often fatal in the Gaza Strip, as a result of the lack of healthcare and restrictions on movement; and

WHEREAS, the state of Israel would not be able to maintain an apartheid regime without enormous military aid provided by the United States every year, thereby also depriving Americans of money for their own urgent needs;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Richmond takes seriously the entreaty of “Never Again,” and that the historical memory of the Holocaust means fighting ethnic cleansing and apartheid everywhere; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of Richmond vows to combat antisemitism and ethno-nationalism in all its forms; and

FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Richmond advocates for the dignity and safety of residents in every community, regardless of what crimes its leadership may commit, and that peaceful diplomacy is the only way to achieve this safety and dignity.

Contra Costa County Supervisor Issues Statement:

Prior to the meeting, Contra Costa County Board of Supervisor John Gioia issued the following statement:

“I believe it is important at times like these to bring our community together rather than create divisiveness.  The passage of any resolution, regardless of attempts to amend it, will only contribute to the divisiveness, said Gioia.

Here is his full statement:

City of Richmond

Walnut Creek

Walnut Creek Councilmember Opposes Resolution as Written

Dear Mayor Martinez, and Honorable Richmond City Council Members,

As a Walnut Creek City Councilmember and former Mayor, I know the importance of Resolutions and Proclamations to a community. Most are straight-forward without any grievance to members of the community who aren’t included in the Resolution. The Resolution on Item R-1 is not one of these. It is highly disturbing to members of the Jewish Community, who already feel in danger following the attack in Israel. As the only Jewish Councilmember in Walnut Creek (and only one of two Jewish council members in Contra Costa County), I can tell you that the Jewish community is on edge. Many Jewish people even in Walnut Creek have written to me about the Richmond Resolution standing in solidarity with Gaza (and by implication, not Israel). There have been threats to the Jewish Community, and Walnut Creek was among the first cities to be bombarded by heinous antisemitic calls beginning last June.

I fear that the Resolution as worded, is highly biased about the Israel-Hamas conflict, and will only further enflame tensions locally, which I’m sure you don’t want to see. Without getting into all the inflammatory statements, using phrases like “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide” are highly offensive and not agreed upon by any means. Furthermore, the Resolution doesn’t recognize the right of Israel to defend itself or that this recent conflict began with the murder of 1,400 innocent Israeli citizens… many women, children, and grandparents. It also fails to mention over 200 kidnapped hostages being held in Gaza.

I am respectfully asking that you pull this Resolution from consideration. The pressure from the community to vote one way or the other will be immense, and whichever way you vote, you will upset many Richmond residents who you have the responsibility of representing. Rather, by taking a minute to recognize the tragedy of loss of lives among innocents, and that we abhor hate in all its form against anyone… Palestinian or Israeli… people will feel recognized and stand by the councils comments. Even a replacement resolution affirming the sanctity of innocent lives and standing united against hate and violence is preferable. This is important, as opposed to dividing the community.

As a Jew, I preach peace and acceptance. I was in Israel in March, 2023 and visited Kfar Aza at the Gaza Border. This Kibbutz was the site of over hundred murders and kidnappings on October 7th. I still can’t believe I met people a few months ago, who no longer are alive.

I implore you not to further enflame tensions, and to pull this Resolution in favor of speaking out for all innocent people and against hate and violence.

Thank you.


Kevin Wilk

Walnut Creek City Councilmember

(Mayor 2021)


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Support from a city nobody cares about October 24, 2023 - 8:15 pm

Soo stupid! Nobody gives a shit what the sorry ass broke down city of Richmond supports or otherwise. The place is a cesspool. Please get your house in order.

Rob S October 25, 2023 - 12:16 am

To the point of the letter, this resolution is absolutely B***S**T!

For starters and as noted in the first comment here, the sorry ass broken-down city of Richmond has no right to criticize anyone until it can clean up its own act = FULL STOP!

The resolution is biased, does not give equal injustice to what Hamas did to start and incite the current situation, does not give equal time to how Hamas uses the Palestinians as human shields, does not give equal time to why the other Arab states are rejecting any intake of Palestinians, and, has GROSS INACCURACIES (for example, Israel is not ethnically cleaning anything –> in fact, the Hamas mission is to “wipe out all Jews” –> it is the Israeli’s who are the victims of attempts to ethnically clean).

Street Sweeper October 25, 2023 - 4:18 am

Richmond doesn’t even affirm support and solidarity for their own community! 🤣

Antioch will have a press release about this soon too. Why deal with your own issues when you can simply deflect. 😏

D October 25, 2023 - 10:11 am

Richmond has a fix for a 1,000 year war, still waiting for them to fix their own messed up city.
Stay in your lane politicians!

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