BDS activists
BDS activistsiStock

In a 5-to-1 vote, the city council of Richmond in California voted to divest from companies doing business in Israel, KGO reported.

With the vote, which took place on Tuesday, Richmond became the second US city to approve such a motion, after Hayward.

"One thing we can do actively, is divestment. And thanks to the student movement, they brought it out to our attention again. It was the right time," said Richmond City Councilmember Soheila Bana, who co-authored the resolution.

Bana added that Richmond has a pool of roughly $600 million to invest, but just a small percentage, around 7%, is likely invested in portfolios that hold companies the city will divest from.

Defense contractors and arms manufacturers like Lockheed Martin, are obvious examples, but companies like Microsoft and Airbnb are also on the list, according to KGO.

"They have properties in the occupied region and advertise it as Israel. So, that is why they are on the list," Bana said.

The resolution reads, "This restriction it is the city policy not to invest in a predetermined list of companies and their subsidiaries that are involved in Israel's violation of Palestinian rights."

But it also targets companies involved in exploiting prison labor, mass surveillance and issues at the border.

The state of California is one among several states which enacted laws against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Bana said the Richmond resolution was written with future legal challenges in mind.

"There is nothing antisemitic about respecting human right of everyone," she said, according to KGO. "It is a constitutional right to go for divestment. And we added specific language (so) that this is not discriminatory."