Letters to the Editor

Letter: Assembly's cease-fire resolution debate

Bill Sherwonit submitted a letter to the editor critical of the Assembly’s action regarding the Israel-Hamas resolution calling for a cease-fire. He called it a “rejection” which sounds like a vote against, but the actual Assembly action was to postpone the resolution indefinitely.

There was indeed no public debate on the issue despite the many people supporting such a resolution, including Michael Patterson and many people holding pro-Palestine signs. This probably was confusing for the public. But it was the right thing to do and was done properly following Robert’s Rules of Order.

I am writing to offer a different perspective starting with an evaluation of the Assembly’s duty to represent the public. I think it is critical to remember the assembly is a local government. We have a strong mayoral system, but the Assembly makes policy, and many of the appointments the mayor makes or the projects he proposes are subject to Assembly approval. The subject matter for the Assembly is vast. It includes homeless issues, budget issues, police and fire issues, election integrity issues, municipal employee issues zoning, and planning.

It does not include international issues. Probably everyone cringes at how awful the Hamas invasion of Israel was and wants the hostages to be returned as well as hating to see the war continue and involve deaths of innocent people.

I can understand that a church might want to issue a statement calling for peace and a bilateral cease-fire. But not the Assembly.

If the Assembly had passed this resolution, does anyone think passing such a resolution would have any direct impact on what happens in the Israel-Hamas conflict? I think everyone would like to see a cease-fire and I hope it will happen soon, but it will not happen because of a resolution by the Anchorage Assembly.

With a myriad of local issues needing priority attention, let’s hope the Assembly can move on and concentrate on local issues only.


— Joanne Kell


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