California’s Alameda County drops ‘Palestinian Cultural Day’ proclamation


(JTA) — A proclamation to declare June 5 “Palestinian Cultural Day” in California’s Alameda County was pulled off the agenda that same day.

Nate Miley, president of the county’s Board of Supervisors, asked that it be pulled, said his chief of staff, j., the Jewish news week of Northern California reported.

“He wasn’t aware of it until we got emails opposed,” Kaplan told the newspaper. "He asked to pull it because it is a controversial international issue beyond his expertise.”

Palestinian advocates suggested "Jewish pressure" was behind the move, but Jewish leaders said the emails were not part of any campaign.

“There was no pressure from the organized Jewish community,” said Myrna David, East Bay director for the Jewish Community Relations Council, according to j.

The proclamation, noting 20,000 Palestinians live in the county, called for a day to recognize their contributions to the area.

Some 20 pro-Palestinian speakers and three pro-Israel activists addressed the June 5 meeting.

Matt White, campus coordinator for the Israel advocacy group StandWithUs, said  he and the other pro-Israel speakers did not object to the day itself, but wanted what they called a minor language change. 

The proclamation said that Palestinians “profess either a Christian, Jewish or Muslim faith.” White wanted the word “Jewish” omitted.

“I support their right to celebrate Palestinian culture as long as it does not spill over into anti-Israel propaganda,” White told the paper.

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