Palm Beach Gardens’ resolution adopts the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of anti-Semitism, and denounces the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement.
PALM BEACH GARDENS — A resolution denouncing anti-Semitism won unanimous support from the city council Thursday night.
Crafted by City Attorney Max Lohman with guidance from council members, the resolution declares zero tolerance for hate crimes and anti-Semitism in all forms, and expresses solidarity with members of the Jewish community.
It adopts the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of anti-Semitism, which is defined, in part, as "a certain perception of Jews that may be expressed as hatred toward Jews."
The resolution also denounces the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement as an anti-Semitic attempt to delegitimize Israel.
BDS is a Palestinian-led global movement that seeks to end international support for Israel's oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law, according to its website.
Supporters of the movement say it is a non-violent way to protest Israeli policies and call for Palestinian rights. Critics say the movement ultimately aims to erase Israel from the map, replacing it with a bi-national state.
Concerns about ongoing violence directed at Jews prompted council members to discuss a resolution condemning it.
In October 2018, a gunman killed 11 people at Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh. Six months later, a shooting at a California synagogue killed one person and wounded three.
Late last year, a wave of anti-Semitic violence struck the New York area, with a shooting at a Kosher grocery store in Jersey City, N.J., preceding a stabbing incident at a rabbi’s home in Monsey, N.Y.
"The Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County did a study in 2018, and they found that 68 percent of our county’s Jewish adults are concerned about anti-Semitism here at home," Vice Mayor Rachelle Litt said. "More than a third of all American Jews say they have personally been the targets of anti-Semitism over the past five years."
The importance of crafting a resolution that denounced anti-Semitism was self-evident, she said.
Council members began discussing the resolution at last month’s council meeting, and agreed to provide input to Lohman so he could draft a more complete version.
Minor tweaks were made Thursday night before the council voted 5-0 to approve it.
"We on this council have zero tolerance for anti-Semitism in this community," council member Matthew Lane said. "We stand firmly with the members of the Jewish community."
Brightline/Virgin Trains USA has adjusted its schedule for closing railroad crossings within or near Palm Beach Gardens jurisdictional boundaries as part of its planned expansion to Orlando.
Closures along the FEC tracks west of Old Dixie Highway were expected to begin May 1 at the Northlake Boulevard crossing in Lake Park, but now will start May 4 at the Hood Road crossing.
Here is the updated schedule, which is subject to change:
Hood Road (May 4-9); RCA Blvd. (May 11-19); Northlake Blvd. (May 26-30); Burns Road (June 3-8); Richard Road in North Palm Beach (June 22-25); Lighthouse Drive (TBD); Kyoto Gardens Drive (TBD); and Donald Ross Road (TBD).
All Aboard Florida, which operates Brightline, is owned by an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group LLC, a global investment management firm. New York-based Fortress has a management contract with Gannett, the ultimate parent of the publisher of The Palm Beach Post.