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Burlington City Council withdraws controversial resolution

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 6:17 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Following nearly five hours of discussion, Burlington City councilors voted to withdraw a pro-Palestinian resolution early Tuesday morning. The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Resolution has been in the works since early summer.

“I watch the news every day, and I see the Palestinian people getting slaughtered every day,” said Wafic Faour, a Palestinian refugee.

Faour still has family in the state. He was at Monday’s City Council meeting in support of the BDS Resolution.

“I think it’s very important Americans understand the amount of aid they send to Israel. It’s over $3.8 billion a year and they get other aids,” said Faour.

The resolution states the city would support:

• Ending occupation of Arab land

• Recognize the fundamental rights of Arab-Palestinians in Israel,

• Promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return home.

Ahead of the meeting, the resolution’s sponsor, Councilor Ali Dieng, told WCAX News the conversation surrounding it had been peaceful until this point.

“It’s a space for both sides to come together to talk about what we can do from the standpoint of our municipal government and elsewhere,” said Dieng.

Public comment during the meeting was dominated by members of Burlington’s Jewish community, who were pleased the resolution was withdrawn.

“This resolution, which might have good fight for justice behind it, is written in such a way that it creates tremendous division in our community, causes great tension in our community and creates fear on the part of the Jewish community,” said Rabbi David Edleson with the Temple Sinai.

Faour says even though it’s disappointing the resolution didn’t pass, he is happy the conversation got started.

“We’re going to continue to educate the public. We want the American public to stand with human rights, equal rights, and the right of speech we cherish here in the United States,” said Faour.

Even though the resolution was withdrawn, that doesn’t prevent it from coming back up in the future.

However, Council President Max Tracy says no counselor wanted to bring it back in this form.

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