Anchorage Assembly votes down resolution on Israel-Gaza cease-fire

The Anchorage Assembly rejected a proposed symbolic resolution calling for an “immediate bilateral ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict” in a 9-3 vote Tuesday evening.

Assembly Vice Chair Meg Zaletel and member Daniel Volland immediately moved to kill the measure, and after a procedural move to block debate, members held no discussion before the vote.

Well over two dozen residents in the Assembly chambers immediately erupted in cries of anger and frustration, and Chair Christopher Constant ordered security guards to clear the room.

The group attended the meeting to support the cease-fire resolution on Tuesday, and many people were sitting in the audience holding up small signs that said “ceasefire now” and “I stand with Palestine.” Many chanted “cease-fire now” as security escorted them from the chambers. The protest briefly continued in the Loussac Library lobby.

Protesters have attended several Assembly meetings in recent months and called on the members to condemn the violence in the Israel-Hamas conflict with a resolution.

“The Anchorage Assembly calls on our federal delegation to support negotiations that lead to an immediate bilateral ceasefire, the release of all hostages, the safe passage of food, water, medical supplies, and other life-saving humanitarian aid into Gaza, and ultimately long-term peace and security for the people of Israel and Palestine,” the rejected resolution said.

At least 70 U.S. cities have passed various resolutions on the war, the majority of which have called for cease-fires, according to a Reuters analysis.


The Assembly members who sponsored the cease-fire resolution — Karen Bronga and George Martinez of East Anchorage and Felix Rivera of Midtown — all voted against killing the measure.

“I’m really disappointed,” Bronga said of the vote and lack of discussion.

“These people have been here for months, sitting patiently, waiting to speak, have been engaging,” she said.

Initially, when protesters began attending meetings and calling for a cease-fire resolution, Bronga said she opposed the idea.

“And the more I dug in, the more I talked with the young people and heard their perspective, what I was hearing over and over is, ‘We are people who have lost our land as well. And we are people who are unable to get aid and we are under constant fire,’” Bronga said.

The resolution proposed was about peace and an end to killing, she said.

Other Assembly members and residents said it would serve to deepen divisions over the war.

In an opinion column published by the Daily News, Rabbi Abram Goodstein of the Congregation Beth Sholom had urged the Assembly to take caution, saying he feared it would further fuel antisemitism that has grown since the conflict began.

“A resolution in Anchorage may not bring any solace to the harmed civilians in this war, but will unquestionably increase the ecosystem of hate that feeds off this conflict. It is a hate that discriminates against both Jews and Muslims. Please be careful how you approach this; our very safety is in your hands,” Goodstein wrote.

Volland — who moved to kill the measure with Zaletel — said that the Assembly had received 700 emails from people, the majority in opposition to the cease-fire resolution.

“For me, that resolution was never going to be a vehicle for peace, but would cause division in our community. I think we saw that in real time tonight,” Volland said, referring to the brief chaos in the Assembly chambers.

Major cities including Seattle, San Francisco and Chicago along with small towns in numerous states have passed resolutions on the violence, which began Oct. 7, when Hamas militants killed 1,200 people in Israel and took 253 hostages. Since then, the estimated Palestinian death toll in the Gaza Strip has surpassed 29,000.

Emily Goodykoontz

Emily Goodykoontz is a reporter covering Anchorage local government and general assignments. She previously covered breaking news at The Oregonian in Portland before joining ADN in 2020. Contact her at