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July 14, 2024

Talent Council calls for ceasefire in Israel-Palestine war

Talent City Hall. Matt Witt photo
November 23, 2023

Letter to legislators also asks for end to military funding of Israel

By Damian Mann for Ashland.news

The Talent City Council sent a letter last week to Oregon elected leaders urging an immediate ceasefire in the Middle East and an end to military aid to Israel.

“I am deeply saddened and horrified by the loss of all innocent life in this conflict and that it has been allowed to go on for this long,” Councilor Jason Clark said in an email.

Clark drafted the one paragraph letter that was endorsed by the Talent City Council and signed by Mayor Darby Ayers-Flood.

The Nov. 16 letter states, “I, Mayor Darby Ayers-Flood, on behalf of myself and the City Council of the City of Talent, motivated by deep compassion for all people who are suffering from the horrific ongoing atrocities in Palestine and Israel, urge you to demand an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages and arbitrarily detained people on both sides, humanitarian aid to help the Palestinian people recover, and the suspension of further military funding to Israel.”

On Wednesday, Israel and Hamas did agree to a four-day truce to allow a hostage exchange.

Talent’s letter joins a host of other pleas for a ceasefire around the world.

Peace House in Ashland has also called for both sides to back away from killing and collateral damage, and to not deny shelter, water, food, medical supplies and care to the Palestinians in Gaza because of the actions of Hamas

Clark said people around the world want an end to the carnage and want a negotiated solution that provides peace and justice for both Israelis and Palestinians.

“Seventy-five years of history and $225 billion in U.S. military aid during that time has proven that more military aid just provokes more resistance and makes a negotiated solution harder to achieve,” Clark said, emphasizing that his comments are personal and not necessarily reflective of the council.

He said the letter sent to U.S. senators and representatives to end the funding through taxes paid by Talent and other communities just supports the ongoing violence and makes a negotiated peace harder to achieve.

Clark said Talent residents have expressed concern about using our tax money to escalate violence abroad.

He said the escalating violence in the Middle East has increased incidents of antisemitism and Islamaphobia across the U.S. and runs counter to the “Welcoming Resolution” that the Talent City Council passed in 2017, which affirms its support for immigrants and all ethnic groups.

“So, while this is an international issue, it is also an issue that directly impacts communities like ours,” Clark said.

He said he hadn’t yet received any response to Talent’s plea from various U.S. legislators representing Oregon, though he was glad that Sen. Jeff Merkley called for a ceasefire on Monday.

He said recent polling shows more than two-thirds of Americans support an immediate ceasefire.

Reach freelance writer Damian Mann at dmannnews@gmail.com.

Nov. 24: Million changed to billion.

Picture of Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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