Ann Arbor’s Human Rights Commission unanimously votes against Anti-Israel resolution to end U.S. military aid to Israel.

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At the Ann Arbor City Council’s first July meeting, protesters made headway by convincing council members to consider a possible resolution to end military aid to Israel.

City council deferred any further discussion on the resolution to Ann Arbor’s Human Rights Commission (HRC), which serves to protect the human and civil rights of Ann Arbor residents.

The HRC agreed to discuss the possibility of an Anti-Israel Resolution at their meeting on August 14.

Before voting on the resolution, City Attorney Stephen Postema informed the HRC and those in attendance that “the Human Rights ordinance is only in effect within Ann Arbor’s borders.” He also added that the HRC is not “empowered to advise the City Council or take any other action on the basis of such complaints.”

According to Eileen Freed, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor, the HRC unanimously voted against the resolution, leading to enraged protesters being ejected from the meeting.

Freed believed that if the HRC took up this matter, it would take away from the issues that are happening within the Ann Arbor community.

“Singling out the world’s only Jewish state — the only democratic state in the region — for this kind of discussion is troubling,” Freed said “It will create a very antagonistic atmosphere for those citizens of Ann Arbor who support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state.”

This isn’t the first time that an anti-Israel resolution has been brought forward from protesters. At the beginning of May, Kalamazoo’s City Commission voted down a similar resolution.

“As far as where we go from here, it’s difficult to say,” Freed said. “I think this just shows us how crucial it is to be proactive and develop these relationships with our City Council members.”

While the Anti-Israel resolution was voted down by the HRC, an August 20 update from MLive indicated opponents are requesting the City Council’s vote.

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