University students and Ann Arbor residents have been vocal in their views of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but now the focus is upon the views of the Ann Arbor City Council.

At last night’s City Council meeting, Ann Arbor residents called for a resolution to end the city’s support of Israeli military assistance.

After commenting that he has stood before the Council for the past two years asking them to create a resolution “to emancipate Palestine from a racially-based military dictatorship that (the United States) supports”, Ann Arbor resident Blaine Coleman personally asked each councilmember if they want to continue indirectly supplying the Israeli military in the form of financial aid.

Most councilmembers did not respond to Coleman but Councilwoman Heidi Cowing Herrell said, “It’s a complicated matter.”

After Coleman had finished, Mayor John Hiefje reminded the members and public speakers that the Council does not address questions in the public commentary session.

Ann Arbor residents Thom Saffold, Henry Herskovitz and Salah Hussein also spoke on issue of Israeli military assistance.

Saffold and Herskovitz discussed conditions for Palestinians at Israeli checkpoints and urged the City Council to create a resolution addressing the issue. Hussein cited a Sept. 8 Amnesty International report to support his arguments. “Violence is the direct cause of the Israeli occupation,” Hussein said.

Although Ann Arbor resident Julie Herrada had been scheduled to speak about bicycle safety, she also voiced her support for a resolution to end support of Israeli military assistance. Herrada said that she had visited Israel and the occupied territories to confirm the reports she had heard at City Council meetings.

Also at last night’s meeting, the Historic District Commission honored the University of Michigan’s preservation of Lane Hall, which is located on E. Washington and State.

The University renovated Lane Hall in 2001, adding classrooms and office space for two departments. Lane Hall also houses the Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies.

 

 

 

 

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