OAKLAND, Calif. - About 100 Jewish families, teachers and allies in Oakland on Friday rallied to draw attention to a controversial resolution that was passed by the Oakland Educators association in response to the Israel- Hamas war.
"The OEA resolution has completely shut out the voices of many members of their own community," Temple Sinai Senior Rabbi Jacqueline Mates-Muchin said outside Montclair Elementary School. "And they did so knowing it was hurtful and exclusive that it doesn't have to be that way in Oakland."
She added: "What's happening today in Israel and Gaza affects many of us. Yet no resolution by the OEA will change the dynamic in the Middle East, and it's put our community at odds with one another."
Another parent added: "I am perplexed at why OEA thinks they have any business taking a stance on the conflict considering they are 7,400 miles away from the center. I don't remember them taking a stand on other conflicts."
They are upset at a non-binding resolution which not only demands freedom for Palestine but puts all the blame of the current war on Israel. The resolution also erroneously says Israel is causing the genocide of the Palestinian people.
The resolution reads in part: "the Israeli government created an apartheid state and the Israeli government leaders have espoused genocidal rhetoric and policies against the people of Palestine."
The vote came on the heels of similar controversial messages on social media last weekend that caused a massive rift in the community.
The resolution, the Jewish family says, is one-sided, and uses triggering language, glossing over the complicated history the two countries share.
They fear this rhetoric will lead to more antisemitism at Oakland schools.
Students said they're being told not to discuss the issue in class.
"Sometimes people bring it up and some get really afraid so were told not to talk about it," said Arianna, a fourth grader.
Arianna said right now, what is needed is a bit of love and peace.