NEWS (WITH SOME OPINION THROWN IN)
At the Richmond City Council meeting of Tuesday October 17th, Vice Mayor Gayle McLaughlin—followed by Mayor Eduardo Martinez—used their pulpit [On the agenda: REPORTS OF OFFICERS: REFERRALS TO STAFF, AND GENERAL REPORTS (INCLUDING AB 1234 REPORTS)] to address the invasion of Israel by HAMAS on October 7th and the retaliation by the Israelis.
Please review the BACKGROUND text followed by links to their official comments below.
All across the US, last week’s Pearl Harbor like surprise invasion of Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza has polarized people with protests showing support or condemnation of the people of Gaza or Israel. Some protests have turned violent and numerous arrests have been made. Retaliatory attacks (including murder) have taken place here in the US from both sides (pro-Palestinian and anti-Semitic).
On Saturday October 7th, simultaneously while as many as 7,000 Gazan rockets rained into Israel, several thousand HAMAS insurgents broke through the fences and walls separating Gaza and Israel with the intent of slaughtering Israelis. There were numerous reports of mass murders, the grenading of bomb shelters, rapes of women and children, the taking of several hundred hostages (of which, several dozen have reportedly died) and the slaughter (and even beheading) of hundreds of Israeli children. Retaliation by Israel soon followed with more than 3,000 reported dead on both sides.
Israel has declared that a state of war exists between Israel and Gaza.
Some members of “the Squad” [Congressmembers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Ihan Omar (MN-5), Ayanna Pressley (MA-7), Rashida Tlaib (MI-12), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16). Cori Bush (MO-1), Greg Casar (TX-35) and Summer Lee (PA-12)], a loose amalgamation of Congressmembers who are often to the far left of most progressives, have spoken out in terms that suggest that they support Gaza over Israel. The response has been polarizing.
Earlier on Tuesday the al-Ahli Arab hospital was bombed with a loss of life nearing 500. Hamas claims that it was bombed by the Israeli Defense Forces while the IDF claims it was a HAMAS rocket sent nearby that errantly struck the hospital.
According to the BBC, “Palestinian officials say the blast was caused by an Israeli air strike.
But the Israeli military say it was the result of a failed rocket launch by Palestinian Islamic Jihad - an accusation the militant group rejected.”
[The full article on the BBC can be read here: [ https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-67140250 ]
The Wall Street Journal also reports: https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/israel-tries-to-back-up-claims-it-didnt-attack-gaza-hospital-a8cc3405 [The Wall Street Journal uses a pay wall to keep readers from viewing their articles unless they pay first.]
The Times of Israel summed it up here: https://www.timesofisrael.com/intel-shows-israel-not-responsible-for-gaza-hospital-blast-white-house-says/
Getting reliable information from either side has been difficult.
As mentioned above, at Tuesday’s Council meeting, McLaughlin and Martinez spoke—as representatives of the Council—as representatives of the people of Richmond—against the actions of Israel as they retaliate against the people of Gaza that still endorses the terrorist invasion of Israel on the 7th.
Just as we’ve seen across the US, their comments were immediately polarizing even inside the sparsely attended Council chambers. As was expected, the very angry, vulgar and accusatory comments afterwards by Council regular Mark Wassberg were loud, angry and ended with the police ejecting him from the Chambers after Mayor Martinez took exception to his comments and behavior.
See the short videos here:
Read the transcripts here: