The Beverly Hills City Council has unanimously passed a resolution pledging ardent support for Israel and condemning Hamas. The gesture was made during the council’s Oct. 17 formal session, which opened with an extended moment of silence in remembrance of lives lost in the conflict over the past 10 days.
“I was thinking we should take a moment of silence for each of them, but we would be here, unfortunately, for a very long time,” Mayor Dr. Julian Gold said following the Pledge of Allegiance and roll call. “And I know that I speak for this community, I speak for the council, we carry this weight in our heart. This has been a very difficult week. Everyone I know has struggled through this week.”
The Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles, Israel Bashar, then spoke.
“This truly feels like home,” Bashar said. “Thank you, Mayor Gold, for your staunch support throughout this difficult time. Thank you to each of the City Council members for your solidarity … To the city of Beverly Hills, I’d like to express the deep gratitude of the state of Israel for standing shoulder to shoulder with us.”
The city was the site of a large-scale demonstration held in support of Israel on Oct. 9, three days after the initial Hamas attacks. And since then, the palm trees outside of City Hall have been lit blue in solidarity with the Israeli people.
Bashar’s remarks described an Israeli victory in the emerging conflict on the Gaza Strip as a dismantling of Hamas, condemning the latter as a terrorist organization. He said support from Beverly Hills would be needed “in the long haul.”
The diplomat also pointed out that hate directed at the Jewish community has spiked in recent days. Since fighting broke out in Israel on Oct. 7, there have been over 107 antisemitic incidents reported in the United States, according to the Anti-Defamation League
“As a major center of the Jewish community, Beverly Hills is on the front line in the fight against antisemitism, and you are battling it courageously,” Bashar said.
The council heard from several members of the public in support of a resolution showing support for Israel. There was also a robust discussion amongst council members as to the exact wording of the resolution. Some were in favor of a harsher and more graphic tone.
“If we’re adding things there that the IDF didn’t confirm, or didn’t happen, then people may not take what we have to say seriously,” noted Councilmember John Mirisch. “And I don’t want that to happen. I don’t want us to be accused of embellishing, where the truth is just horrifying enough.”
He later added, “I also do think we need to have a point in there that deplores the deaths of innocent Palestinians.”
The resolution as passed by the council condemns Hamas as a terrorist organization while supporting the existence of Israel as a “sovereign and independent Jewish nation.” The document states that Beverly Hills stands with Israel “unequivocally,” and calls on the United States government to “send any and all support.”
“Families around the world were disrupted, and we all know people who lost somebody, who are either now dead or who were taken,” said Gold. “And we all know families here whose sons and daughters have gone back to serve. This is not in any way limited to the state of Israel. This is global, and we all know people, closely, friends, maybe relatives, for whom this is immensely personal.”