The Sacramento California council rejected anti-Israel arguments Tuesday night and unanimously approved linking with the port city of Ashkelon as an official “sister city.”
The vote was preceded by an hour of emotional arguments before an overflowing crowd for and against the move, the Sacramento Bee reported.
The capital of California adopted Bethlehem as a sister city in 2009 after local Jewish leaders dropped their opposition when a councilman introduced a resolution that a similar move would be made for an Israeli city in the near future.
However, local Arabs backed by Jewish leftists railed against the proposal to link with Ashkelon, arguing that it would encourage the “occupation” because Israel has imprisoned Palestinian Authority terrorists and security prisoners.
Israeli supporters arrived at Tuesday night’s vote with Israel flags and T-shirts that displayed slogans against the Palestinian Authority’s own denial of human rights to Arabs.
Ashkelon becomes Sacramento’s 10th sister city. The port city, home to key energy infrastructure, has been under constant rocket attack by terrorists in Hamas-controlled Gaza since Israel forced all Jews out of Gaza and withdrew all soldiers in the 2005 “Disengagement” expulsion program.