The Fresno County Board of Supervisors voted to condemn terrorist group Hamas at its Tuesday meeting.
Hamas, the government of the Gaza Strip, engaged in attacks on Israeli civilians on Oct. 7. The actions sparked the latest Israel-Hamas war.
“Fresno County condemns the barbaric attacks perpetrated by Hamas on innocent civilians. Fresno County condemns acts of antisemitism including the recent acts of vandalism and threats against Fresno County synagogues and businesses. Fresno County calls upon people of all faiths and beliefs to condemn the attacks by Hamas and the rise of local antisemitic acts,” the resolution states.
Proposed by Supervisor Steve Brandau, the resolution passed 5-0.
Brandau acknowledged other victims in the Israel-Hamas war but said America stands by its allies.
“I don’t think I’m denying that there are other innocent people involved,” Brandau said. “These are just the type of things that friends do when you have a friend. That doesn’t mean they’re always right in everything they do, and you know that. But you stand with your friends.”
No other supervisors commented. Only one member of the public, frequent commenter Brandi Nuse-Villegas, spoke against the resolution.
The meeting started with board chair Sal Quintero asking for a moment of silence “reminding us of all the conflicts going on in our world, to remind us of the women, children, and men who have lost their lives,” and for a “peaceful resolution” without any specifics.
Pastor Kevin Foster of Lifebridge Community Church referenced the Middle East conflict and offered a peace prayer.
A “Stand for Palestine” protest is scheduled for tonight in Fresno at Blackstone and Nees avenues, starting at 5 p.m.
Peace Fresno also plans a protest on Thursday at noon outside of Rep. Jim Costa’s office in downtown Fresno.
Board Advances Ballot Measures for March Election
Although already proposed and approved, the Board of Supervisors took technical steps to place two items in front of voters on the March 5, 2024 ballot.
In a 5-0 vote, the Supervisors voted to allow voters to change the county charter to allow the election of the sheriff and district attorney to remain in the same year as the governor’s election. A state law moved those elections for most counties to the same year as a presidential election.
Earlier this month, Fresno City Attorney Andrew Janz — under the secret direction of the city council — wrote a letter to state Attorney General Rob Bonta asking about the legality of the county bucking a state law by letting local voters decide the timing of the DA’s and sheriff’s elections.
In a separate 3-2 vote, the supervisors approved placing an item on the ballot to allow voters to empower supervisors to decide place names.
The supervisors have been at odds with the federal and state governments over the Squaw Valley place name. Both the federal government and the state of California recognize the foothill community as Yokuts Valley.
Both items will come back to the supervisors for final approval for the ballot on Nov. 7.