Proposed Link To West Bank Stirs Rancor In Boulder

This peaceful university town is 7,000 miles from the violence of the Middle East, but a proposal to become sister cities with a Palestinian community has stirred such rancor that the city is considering hiring a mediator.

The Boulder City Council was scheduled to vote Tuesday on a formal sister-city relationship with Nablus on the West Bank. But proponents asked the city to name a mediator instead, saying they were surprised by the level of opposition.

The council rejected a similar proposal in 2013, citing community opposition and concerns that Boulder would appear to be taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

City spokeswoman Sarah Huntley says opponents have expressed similar concerns this time.

Proponents say a sister-city relationship would only work for international understanding and wouldn't take sides.