Mideast dispute erupts at city meeting

Los Altos Vice Mayor Jonathan Weinberg offers his opinions about the Israeli-Hamas war during the Oct. 14, 2023, council meeting. Image from the council's video feed.

Daily Post Staff Writer

Los Altos Councilman Jonathan Weinberg’s push for the City Council to condemn the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks has highlighted the divide between Palestinian and Jewish residents.

People from both sides packed the council chambers on Tuesday night (Nov. 14) for a long and emotional meeting. Mayor Sally Meadows had to tell people to stop interrupting several times, and multiple police officers were present.

Most of the Jewish speakers supported Weinberg’s proposal, saying they’ve been afraid to wear Jewish symbols out of fear of antisemitism.

“Myself and hundreds of other families in our community no longer feel safe, no longer feel supported, no longer have a sense of belonging,” resident Alex Levich said.

Palestinians wanted council to condemn Islamaphobia too.

“If any resolution needs to be passed, it needs to be a resolution that strongly denounces any hate,” Aiza Khalid said.

Councilman Pete Dailey said the calls from residents to denounce Islamaphobia remind him of when people would say “all lives matter” in response to someone saying “Black lives matter.”

“If your house was on fire, how would you feel if the fire department started hosing down every other house on the block and told you all houses matter?” he said.

A broad statement by council would minimize threats against Jews, who have been uniquely persecuted throughout history, Dailey said.

“The threat of violence against Jews in our community is not the same as threats against me, or threats of violence against other marginalized groups,” he said.

Weinberg agreed.

“I just cannot move on from what happened on Oct. 7,” Weinberg said.
Councilwoman Neysa Fligor said Muslim residents feel unsafe too.

“We cannot ignore the other things that have resulted from the Hamas terrorist attack on Oct. 7. We have residents who are hurting for other reasons,” she said.

Weinberg agreed to write a resolution that responds to what he heard at the meeting and bring it to council on a date to be determined.


  1. All houses do matter, and city council members in every city should stay focused on local issues. Not what is happening in the Middle East.

    • International and global affairs impact local issues, for example a drought far away may cause some people to emigrate and local communities have to address immigration, same as war elsewhere have local people highly affected. Enlisted soldiers may fight far away battles but their local family and communities support them and do all they can to help them cope. Our neighborhood is diverse and made up of people with roots and heritage from all over the world. No matter if you are first generation American or 5th, your family has or had  connection to some other culture in other  parts of the world. Same goes for people with Middle East background, and now they are in pain and impacted  due to the horrific massacre instigated by Hamas on October 7th. Ignoring it, is just like putting our head in the sand and hoping the storm will pass and not hurt us. Better to face the issues such as Antisemitism and/or Islamophobia head on, if we don’t the results might be a breakdown of our great Los Altos community.

  2. I’ve heard of several incidents of antiSemitism but I’ve yet to hear any Islamophobia incidents. Can you name even one Islamophobic incidents?

    • A Syrian Stanford student was intentionally hit by a car on November 3rd and the driver yelled “F*ck you and your people.” Islamophobia occurs all the time, every day; it is extremely common. The way articles like this one are written in a very biased way, only portraying one side, encourages further Islamophobia. Let’s not forget about the SIX YEAR OLD Palestinian boy stabbed and murdered in Chicago in an explicitly Islamophobic, anti-Palestinian attack.

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