A RESOLUTION condemning the Israeli military assault on the people of Gaza, urging an immediate ceasefire, affirming opposition to islamophobia and antisemitism, and urging Congress to end all military funding to Israel.

WHEREAS, the Palestinian people of Gaza are now facing an unimaginable human catastrophe as the Israeli military, the fourth-largest in the world, invades and imposes a brutal blockade on Gaza; and

WHEREAS, as of November 13, 2023, the Israeli military has killed more than 11,100 Gazans, or one out of every 200 residents of Gaza, with most of the victims being women and children, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, and with more people across Gaza believed to be buried under the rubble, alive or dead; and 

WHEREAS, the Associated Press has reported that more than 4,100 of those killed were children, including over 2,000 under the age of 12, and over 600 who were 3 and under; and 

WHEREAS, as of November 1, the Israeli military admitted to having dropped 10,000 bombs on Gaza, which averages 72 bombs for every square mile of Gaza, whose entire area is just the size of Seattle, and with The Wall Street Journal reporting at least 45 percent of housing units being destroyed or damaged; and

WHEREAS, since October 7, right-wing Israeli settlers supported by the Israeli military have killed at least 197 West Bank Palestinians, including 48 children, and forcibly displacing another 1,100 Palestinians from their homes, as reported by Al Jazeera on November 16; and 

WHEREAS, the Israeli state is engaging in collective punishment of ordinary Palestinians in the wake of the brutal October 7 attack where Hamas killed 1,200 Israelis, foreigners, and dual nationals, including children, women, the elderly, and other civilians, as well as Bedouins and other Arab-Israelis, injured another 3,500, and took 242 people as hostages; and 

WHEREAS, while the Palestinian people have the right to self-determination, and people living under occupation have the right to resist and to defend themselves with force, attacks on civilians such as Hamas carried out are horrific and do not further the safety or liberation of the Palestinian people, but, instead, undermine it by providing a pretext for disproportionate retaliation by the Israeli state and deepening divisions between ordinary Israelis and Palestinians; and

WHEREAS, on October 9, before the intensified bombing and attacks on Gaza, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant declared: “I have ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel. Everything is closed. We are fighting human animals, and we will act accordingly”; and

WHEREAS, while Israeli citizens have the right to defend themselves against all forms of violence, the Israeli state’s violent policies of occupation, annexation, and apartheid are root causes of the current crisis. The Israeli government’s response has been completely disproportionate, racist, and dehumanizing of the Palestinian people; and

WHEREAS, Israeli Knesset member Ariel Kallner has called for a second Nakba – “catastrophe” in Arabic – stating, “Right now, one goal: Nakba! A Nakba that will overshadow the Nakba of ’48. Nakba in Gaza and Nakba to anyone who dares to join! Their Nakba, because like then in 1948, the alternative is clear,” and in calling for another Nakba, Kallner and other Israeli leaders are referring to the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian communities in 1948 by militias, resulting in the killing of thousands of Palestinians, the destruction of their villages, and the forcible expulsion of 80 percent of the Palestinian population from their homeland, with many of the descendants of the Nakba living today in Gaza; and 

WHEREAS, since the original Nakba in 1948, there has been an expansion into Palestinian lands by the Israeli state, during which time the Israeli state has repeatedly been found by international bodies to have violated the rights of the Palestinian people, including but not limited to United Nations Resolution 242 (1967), United Nations Resolution 446 (1979), and United Nations Resolution 2334 (2016); and

WHEREAS, even while mourning the tragic deaths of Jewish Israelis, many Jewish people and others in Israel and around the world are outraged at the Israeli government’s violent retaliation. For example, Noy Katsman, whose brother Hayim Katsman was a former resident of Seattle who had returned to Israel and was killed by Hamas, told CNN that Israeli military retaliation “never brings us better lives, it just brings us more and more terror”; and

WHEREAS, the political and military support from the U.S., which has reached more than $158 billion since 1946 according to the Congressional Research Service, along with aid from other Western nations, enables the escalation of violence and the policy of occupation and annexation, undermining the personal security of ordinary people on all sides of the conflict; and 

WHEREAS, the U.S. government provides Israel over $3.8 billion in military aid every year, and Congress is currently considering providing the Israeli government an additional $14 billion in military aid to increase the violence in Gaza; and

WHEREAS, since October 7, Jewish and Palestinian community members, along with other community members, in growing numbers have joined in peaceful protests by the thousands in Seattle, joining similar and larger protests in cities nationally and worldwide in calling for an immediate ceasefire, humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, a halt to U.S. military aid to Israel, and an end to the Israeli occupation of and control over Palestinian territories; and 

WHEREAS, on November 16, 2023, a broad range of nearly 2,000 Washington State faith leaders and activists, along with elected officials, unveiled a public statement that called for “an immediate ceasefire” and for “an end to the decades-long military occupation”; and

WHEREAS, on October 14, a six-year-old Palestinian-American boy near Chicago, Wadea Al Fayoume, was stabbed to death by his family’s landlord in what is being investigated as an Islamophobic hate crime; and

WHEREAS, Seattle is home to many people whose families have been impacted by this violence, with victims in Israel, Gaza, and the occupied West Bank; and 

WHEREAS, a 2021 report by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief found that discrimination and hatred towards Muslims has risen to “epidemic proportions”; and

WHEREAS, the Seattle City Council has long gone on record as opposing both Islamophobia and anti-Semitism; NOW, THEREFORE,


Section 1. The Seattle City Council joins with others worldwide in condemning the Israeli military assault on the Palestinian people in Gaza and demanding an immediate ceasefire, humanitarian aid to help the Palestinian people recover, the release of all hostages on both sides, and an end to the Israeli occupation and subjugation of Palestinian lands. The Seattle City Council condemns both the methods of terror used by Hamas and the state terrorism of the Israeli government. The Seattle City Council affirms the right of all people to engage in peaceful protest without threats or intimidation.

Section 2. The Seattle City Council affirms its commitment to combat Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in all their forms. The Seattle City Council affirms its support for the people of both Israel and Palestine to live in peace and security.

Section 3. The Seattle City Council opposes all U.S. military aid to Israel, and believes those billions of dollars in military resources are enabling this war and occupation, and greatly exacerbating the violence in the region. The Seattle City Council urges the U.S. Congress to oppose further funding for the Israeli military and requests that the Office of Intergovernmental Relations convey this position to Seattle’s Congressional delegation.

Share Button
© 1995-2018 City of Seattle