Beverly Hills Stands Resolute in Support of Israel

As one of its first actions after installing a new mayor and two new members, the Beverly Hills City Council on April 16 unanimously passed a resolution condemning the Islamic Republic of Iran for its recent drone strikes against Israel and reaffirming Israel’s right to defend itself.   

The resolution came days after Iran launched more than hundreds of missiles at Israel, causing light damage to one Israeli military base and wounding a 7-year-old girl, after most of the missiles were shot down and intercepted by the Israeli and American militaries.

“Last weekend’s attack demonstrates the continued threat that the Islamic Republic of Iran presents to the world,” Mayor Lester Friedman said. “This council has always demonstrated its support for Israel and its right to defend itself against all forms of terrorism and aggression. Today, we stand with the people of Iran but in opposition to the Islamic Republic of Iran.” 

The resolution further condemns the “apartheid, racist and genocidal Islamic Republic of Iran for its brutality, anti-democratic oppression of its citizens and documented human rights violations, especially against women, students and minorities,” and calls for increased international and domestic sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.    

Vice Mayor Sharona Nazarian, who is a leader in the Woman, Life, Freedom movement following the death of Mahsa Amini, emphasized the importance of differentiating between the Iranian people and the Islamic Republic, which poses a global threat.  

“We stand against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Nazarian said. “We stand with the people of Iran, the women of Iran, the Woman, Life, Freedom movement.”  

Sherwin Shamoeil, a senior field representative for State Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur (D-Hollywood) said that Zbur commended Beverly Hills for its continued advocacy, and Israeli American Civic Action Network CEO Dillon Hosier recommended the city push the state government to enforce sanctions it has previously adopted. 

The council discussed the resolution along with its plans for the Oct. 7 flag memorial at Beverly Gardens Park, ultimately deciding to remove the flags on May 15 to make space for the Beverly Hills Art Show.   

The installation features 1,400 flags representing the nationalities of those killed by Hamas on Oct. 7, when the terror group attacked Israel and took hundreds hostage.

The council considered several options for keeping the flags in place, including refunding 28 vendors who would be impacted. After city officials and Beverly Hills Police Department Chief Mark Stainbrook listed the logistical and safety concerns associated with keeping the installation in place, the council agreed it was always meant to be temporary and resolved to find a permanent commemoration. 

“Two arrests have had to be made and [there have been] other incidents around it, including protests and protesters showing up, because having it there makes it a target,” Stainbrook said. “We have certainly a lot of other uses for our resources, including our security personnel or police personnel, and kind of an inordinate amount of time and effort … is placed in making sure [the installation] stays secure in its current configuration.”  

The flag installation has garnered praise from residents and Israeli allies abroad.