The proposal that Ashkelon, Israel become an officially supported and sanctioned sister city with Sacramento, California does NOT reflect the diverstiy and values of our community:
• Ashkelon discriminates against its own citizens and would discriminate against members of our community on the basis of religion, ethnicity and national origin. This is in direct contradiction to the City Council directive that a sister city “be inclusive of the citizens of Sacramento, including the diverse cultural and religious communities in the area.”
• Instead of promoting the expression of “friendship, goodwill, and cooperation,” as sister cities are intended, International Law and human rights are routinely violated in Ashkelon, which was also the site of ethnic cleansing. The victims of that ethnic cleansing have not been allowed to return to their homes and lands as mandated by the United Nations.
• Contrary to the fundamental intent of Sister Cities, Ashkelon is not being proposed by ordinary volunteer citizens. Rather, it is proposed by a professional organization as part of its paid political advocacy on behalf of a foreign government.
Until Ashkelon promotes and practices equal rights, human rights, and compliance with international law and is open to all Sacramentans irrespective of their religion, ethnicty, and national origin, it should NOT be made an official sister city.