City Council Approves Gaza Resolution Calling for Cease-Fire & Release of Hostages


Sally Bowden-Schaible, LCPC, CCMHC, a psychotherapist, Testified About the Trauma Suffered by Hostages in Gaza Last Night at the City Council Meeting.

Last night the Portland City Council unanimously approved a Resolution calling for an immediate Cease-fire in Gaza that would require the release of hostages – an important message that supporters want to be heard by President Biden and  our Congressional delegation. The Resolution was sponsored by Councilor Pious Ali who was recently defeated in his bid for Portland’s mayor.

The unanimous approval followed muted and brief statements by the Council.  One of the few Council comments came from District 1 Councilor Anna Trevorrow who said that her remarks would not be as eloquent as some that went before her.  She said that she could not understand the strength of those being oppressed. Councilor Victoria Pelletier said:  “We do not turn our backs on genocide.” The Council’s approval followed the testimony of forty (40) people –  the overwhelming majority of whom testified in support of the Resolution.

The first to testify was Sally Bowden-Schaible, LCPC, CCMHC, a psychotherapist, who often works with aduldts who have experienced childhood trauma.  Shaible said that it is “heartbreaking” to see the tragedy that is unfolding in the ‘Holy Land.’ ………The mainstream media places responsibility…..on Hamas alone.  Israel and the US control the narrative.  The cycle of violence began 75 year ago with Israeli occupation, 16 years of a prison-like siege of Gaza and systemic political and social injustices against Palestinians have bred numbing and enraging despair..”  Schaible is a member of several non-profits who she was representing.

Ironically, back in the 1970s, John Westoff saw the city of Portland award a key to the city to a delegation from Palestine, he testified before the city council last night.  Westoff said that it is not in Israel’s interest or that of the US to continue the war on Gaza.  “It is encouraging a whole new generation of Palestinians, Christian and Muslims alike… view Israel as a Pariah State.  It is isolating Israel as can be seen by recent U.N. votes.”  Westoff continued that it is not in the US’s best interests because “we are complicit.  We are distracted from the Ukranian/Russia War and we could easily be dragged into a regional or World War.”

“My hard-earned taxpayer dollars that I work for as a hospital nurse are paying for American made bombs and weapons that are being used to murder some of my fellow health care workers in Gaza,” said Sarah Smith, employed at Maine Medical Center.  She said that she is a “proud Jew, and a granddaughter of immigrants who fled Eastern Europe to escape violent antisemitism that threatened their lives.”

Breaking up the early flow of those testifyig in support of the Resolution was LIsa A. Sicilliano, Pastor, of the Portland House of Prayer.  She asked:  “Is it our place to take a stand on a war in Gaza?”   She said she did not support the Resolution.  Multiple speakers responded to her question sayig that Portland needs to join the many cities across the nation calling for an end to the war in Gaza.  Other speakers made it clear that they want Maine’s Congressioal delegation as well as President Biden to hear their support for a cease fire in Gaza and act on it.

Jessica Sanders, who is Jewish, called for the end of financial support for Israel.  Just because you oppose the war in Gaza and support this Resolution, that does not make you anti-Jewish, she said.

One of the last of the forty (40) speakers was Dr. Sam Zager, a physician who is also Jewish.  He has visited Gaza, Israel and the West Bank many times.  He called for an expanded Resolution –  condemning all violence.

This blogger recommends the reading of a paperback book – “The Hundred Years War on Palestine,” by Rashid Khalidi.

(Once again, this blogger took some photos of the meeting last night, but is unable to post them due to technical difficulties),


4 thoughts on “City Council Approves Gaza Resolution Calling for Cease-Fire & Release of Hostages

  1. This blogger has a bad taste in his mouth from this story. I think that the division between Jews and Muslims is no more divisive than the division between Jews and Christians who are divided only by ancient reform of Judaism and united even by the martyrdom of Jesus as much as Syrian Christianity and Islam are united by Muhammad. The readiness of the whole world to take sides in this conflict only embitters this Occidental-centric confrontation. A resolution to end the violence is a place to start here in Portland but that is only a clue to the beginning of change that industrialism has brought to the middle East. Linguistic, religious and econo-cultural changes have been brought to the levant by Israel and the west that deeply offend against the traditionally arid customs of the cradle of the dominant culture of the west. Some say education is the key to the intersection of Africa, Asia and the Mediterranean but if I were to point a finger I would buttonhole patriarchy as the most likely culprit. It was Mark Twain who quipped, “If I had more time my answer would be shorter”!

    • Robert, are you a blogger or a reader of a blog. Just want to be sure I’m not mistaken on who you are. Carol

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