A tight circle of 120 people stood in front of the courthouse May 17 at 7 p.m. The clock tower rang as candles were positioned in the center of the circle. The people were gathered for a vigil, organized by UCSB Students for Justice in Palestine, PODER Santa Barbara, and the community of Santa Barbara, honoring the Palestinian victims murdered on May 14 by the state of Israel.
As the sun set, students read the names of the victims and lit a candle for each one. In total, 98 candles were lit to represent the lives lost — of those, 16 were children, including an eight-month old baby girl. Following a moment of silence, the circle was opened up for community members to share thoughts, feelings, and words of support.
The vigil follows the Board of Supervisors’ recent honorary resolution recognizing the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel. “It’s more complicated than people make things out to be,” said 1st District Supervisor and Chair Das Williams. “I want Israel to continue to exist. I’m a supporter of the two-state solution,” he said. Williams clarified, “I do not agree with policies of Benjamin Netanyahu.”
By Brandon Yadegari