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Monterey County Board of Supervisors vote to not take action on resolution to condemn attacks on Israel

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV)  Update Oct. 24, 2023, at 12:00 p.m.- The Monterey County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to take no action on a resolution to express solidarity with the people of Israel after the attack on them by Hamas.

Last week the board postponed the decision due to a lack of inclusive language for the Palestinian people.

Even with a rewording to include the people of Palestine the board still voted to not approve the resolution. Board Chair Luis Alejo says no further action will be taken because the vote was not to approve any resolution.

The new resolution reads in part: "Board of Supervisors, on behalf of the County of Monterey and all residents thereof, expresses its strong condemnation of all acts of terrorism, regardless of their source, and stands in solidarity with all the innocent victims of this conflict, expressing deep sorrow for the loss of life of innocent babies, children, women, the elderly, and men."

Monterey County Board of Supervisors vote to postpone resolution to stand with Israel

The Monterey County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to postpone a resolution to express solidarity and stand with Israel on Tuesday.

“I'm standing with the resolution today and that we should not postpone this,” said Supervisor Luis Alejo.

The resolution read that the board was looking to "Adopt a resolution expressing solidarity with Israel and standing with Israel as it defends itself against the heinous terrorist attacks by Hamas and other terrorists."

A few members from the Muslim community arrived to speak during public comment at their displeasure with the board of supervisors, especially, with the lack of language in the resolution that shows support for the Palestinian people.

“I do not support Hamas or their actions,” said Sami Meri who attended the meeting. “They do not represent the two million people who live in Gaza, which include the Muslims and the Christians.”

Meri, who's lived in Monterey County for over 20 years, said his family had to leave Palestine over the years because of war and conflict. 

“My family they all had to leave, they all had to leave Palestine in 1948, 1967,” said Meri. “They had to leave because of war.”

As the war rages on both sides, the death toll and number of people injured continues to climb. It's become both emotionally and mentally draining.

“It's been tough on all of us,” said Meri. “As a Palestinian and as a Muslim because it's hard. It's hard to see suffering.”

“Let us stand together as one human family, linked by our desires of peace and dignity and welfare and love for all,” said Margaret Bruner with Temple Beth El.

Supervisors plan to bring the resolution back at another meeting with some amendments.

Meri told KION he's grateful that board postponed the vote, so that the resolution can be more balanced. 

“I cannot support this action which feels like it ultimately uses the loss Israeli lives to justify a genocide of Gaza,” said Supervisor Wendy Root Askew. “Our call to action must focus on reducing humanitarian suffering and protection innocent people.”

Supervisors Wendy Root-Askew, Mary Adams and Glenn Church voted to move the matter to another day. While current Chair Luis Alejo and supervisor Chris Lopez voted to deny to postpone the resolution.

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Ricardo Tovar

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