The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Pullman City Council to further discuss proposed Israel-Hamas war ceasefire resolution

Council heard from pro-Palestine and pro-Israel citizens at June 11 meeting
Councilman Trymaine Gaither looks down during WSU student’s Angie Bell’s comment calling for the Council to call for a ceasefire of the Israel-Hamas war, June 11, in Pullman, Wash.

Eight Pullman residents, including several WSU students, spoke during the public comment section of Tuesday’s City Council meeting to address a proposed resolution calling for a ceasefire of the Israel-Hamas war.

The Palouse Democratic Socialists of America created and submitted the resolution, titled “A Resolution for a Permanent Ceasefire and an End to Occupation and Apartheid in Palestine.” Through their social media pages, the local group invited community members to attend and speak at the city council meeting.

The resolution said the council would call upon state and federal representatives and the Biden administration to “advance a full, immediate, and permanent ceasefire in Gaza” in addition to implementing humanitarian aid and ending U.S. military aid/funding to the State of Israel.

A Jewish Pullman resident, who identified as “Jessica” and would not provide a surname citing safety concerns, was the first citizen to provide public comment.

“I live here in this community, and when I read the resolution that seemed submitted, it left me out,” Jessica said. “My children graduated from Pullman High School. They experienced antisemitism. I have experienced antisemitism, and for a resolution or anything that this city is going to vote on, I would hope that it would be something that could start on what can we all in this room agree on.”

Patrick Mahoney, Ph.D. candidate in political science at WSU and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, said he hoped the council would support the resolution.

“We can turn on the TV today and see the brutality that’s being inflicted upon children in Gaza, and this kind of brutality is completely underwritten by the United States and its military and its support of the Israeli government and the Israeli Defense Force,” Mahoney said.

WSU Ph.D. candidate of American studies Andre Diehl additionally spoke in favor of the resolution. He said his time in Pullman has instilled in him a strong sense of community.

“Colonial genocide is not an event, it is a process,” Diehl said to the council. “We have the ability here to democratically use our voice as a city to do what we can to bring this process to a grinding halt, and I hope you all play your part.”

The council members and mayor responded to the meeting’s attendees following the public comment session.  

“I want to assure you that concerns about racism and community safety are taken very seriously by myself, the council, and our community as well,” Councilman Eric Fejeran said.

Councilwoman Ann Parks said there was only so much the council is capable of doing.

“We pride ourselves on being a welcoming community,” she said. “But there are a lot of residents we’re not hearing from, and I feel like this could continue to be a divisive issue in our community.

Councilwoman Parks said she hopes attendees are reaching out to state senators and legislators.

However, Councilwoman Carla de Lira said Pullman would join over 100 other local municipalities that have passed a ceasefire resolution.

“We would be joining in solidarity with other cities to put pressure on the US federal government to act to end this extreme humanitarian crisis that is being funded through our tax dollars,” she said.

de Lira said local government is responsible to participate in the discussion, as stewards of the city’s tax dollars.

“We’re not an isolated city that is unaffected by national and international events” she said. “In fact, having WSU in our community makes it even more so that we are a city with ties from all over the world.”

The resolution additionally asks that “the City of Pullman calls on the administration of Washington State University and the WSU Foundation to divest from companies closely tied to Israeli occupation and apartheid.”

Councilman Trymaine Gaither said that this item goes beyond the responsibilities and purpose of the council.

“While well-intentioned, it’s not balanced,” Gaither said. “The resolution that was sent to us creates a perception of partisanship that is inappropriate for our non-partisan local government.”

Council members de Lira and Eric Fejeran moved and seconded a motion to formally continue the conversation. The council will revisit the resolution and hold further public comment during their next meeting 7 p.m. June 25 at Pullman City Hall, located at 190 SE Crestview St Building A. 

A link to the broadcast of Tuesday’s meeting can be found on YouTube.

If passed, Pullman would join other Washington cities such as Seattle and Olympia in adopting a ceasefire resolution within city government.

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About the Contributors
KEDZIE MOE, Editor-in-chief
Kedzie is the editor-in-chief of The Daily Evergreen for the summer and fall of 2024. She began working at the Evergreen as a sportswriter in the fall of '23 and took on the additional role of copy editor in the spring of '24. She is a junior public relations major from Seattle, Washington.
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2024 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.