Anti-Israel Protester Accused of Making Death Threats Against City Council

( – An anti-zionist protester is accused of threatening city council members in Bakersfield, California.

The incident unfolded on April 10 during a public meeting when residents were allowed to speak. The suspect, Riddhi Patel, faces allegations of threatening to kill Republican Mayor Karen Goh and other council members. Patel, 28, identifies as non-binary. In video footage, she was shown standing at the podium telling the council they were “horrible human beings” who would have been killed by Jesus. Patel spoke against the councilors and mayor before they voted on a Gaza ceasefire, telling them none of them cared about anything occurring in Palestine or any nation experiencing oppression. Two days later, she was seen sobbing uncontrollably in court and charged over the threats.

Patel, an Indian-American, claimed that the Hindu holiday of Chaitra Navratri justified violence against “oppressors.” India has historically supported the two-state solution, but under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the country has taken a strongly pro-Israel stance. Right-wing Hindus have faced criticism for expressing harshly anti-Palestinian views online.

When speaking at the council meeting, Patel added that she hopes one day someone brings a guillotine and kills them all. She raised the issue of increased spending on security measures at council meetings, suggesting the only reason they had introduced such measures recently was that people no longer care whether they are liked by those on the council. She claimed the public was being “criminalized” for their resistance and that they were being targeted by the council with the security measures, which included metal detectors.

Following Patel’s speech, Goh told her that she was making threats, and had police escort her out of the building. Fellow anti-Israel activists present made sure to distance themselves from Patel and her threatening language.

The protester has reportedly lost her job with her advocacy group since the aggressive outburst. She had been working for the Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment as an economic development coordinator. Patel faces 18 charges related to the incident. She pleaded not guilty to the charges and her bail was set at $1 million.

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