Hamtramck pass resolution supporting boycotting Israel amid war in Gaza

Representatives from Hamtramck unanimously passed a resolution expressing support for boycotting Israel and divesting assets, becoming the first city in the U.S. to do so.

It's the first city in the U.S. to officially recognize the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, which supports nonviolent means of assisting Palestine amid Israel's war with Hamas. 

In passing the resolution, the city of 28,000 residents hopes to put pressure on Israel until it "complies with international law and universal principles of human rights."

The resolution was passed on May 28.

Among the causes it supported include:

  • Endorsing calls to boycott Israel until it follows international law
  • Make best efforts to refrain purchasing any goods or services from a vendor that is the target of the BDS campaign
  • Refrain from investing in any company associated with the State of Israel
  • Encouraging residents to support the BDS movement by boycotting companies that support Israel's campaign into Gaza

Earlier on May 31, Israel confirmed it had expanded its ground operation into Rafah, which is located in southern Gaza. The conflict has already created a humanitarian crisis in the country and risks making the situation even worse.

Rafah was once the main hub of humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip. But the fighting has restricted the flow of food, medicine, and other supplies to the starving country.

Despite warnings from President Joe Biden about invading the city, the current operation hasn't crossed the country's "red line" that would force it to change its policy. 

As the war continues, criticism against Israel has grown. Last week, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for the prime minister of Israel, its defense minister, and leaders of Hamas. 

The prosecutor alleged war crimes were committed during the conflict.

In the U.S., protests of Israel's actions have been most visible on college campuses, including at the University of Michigan and Wayne State. Activists erected tents and staged encampments with demands for their respective schools to divest in the nation and countries affiliated with Israel. 

On Thursday, police dismantled the pro-Palestinian encampment early morning.

In Hamtramck's resolution, they name "university students" as members of the "unprecedented movement" that's "standing against genocide and calling for BDS."