Gaza ceasefire resolution passes amid antisemitic comments from public during meeting

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (IUSTV News) — The Bloomington City Council unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday calling for a ceasefire in Gaza while pushing back against antisemitic comments made during the public comment section.

The resolution was introduced by Isabel Piedmont-Smith and Dave Rollo, who both sponsored the legislation.

At the council’s meeting the week prior, Bloomington Mayor Kerry Thomson signaled she would veto the resolution, however it remains uncertain whether Thomson will approve or reject the resolution.

“Inclusion means excluding white people and equity means stealing from white people,” one speaker said over Zoom. “Why can non-whites get social safety nets but we get scraps?”

The zoom speaker ended by saying “Hail Hitler,” but not before making outright racist remarks, saying, “Is it progress for a white woman to be a single mother for life with multiple mud babies of different imprisoned Black fathers? I don’t think this is progress.”

Thomson, who was not in the meeting during the time for public commentary, held back tears when she addressed the council later in the meeting.

“I’m sad and furious,” Thomson said. “I condemn all hate speech. It is inappropriate. And while I stand for freedom of speech, and we will always allow it in these council chambers, I’m here tonight to ask the people of Bloomington, when you hear hatred, when you hear Nazi speech, when you hear deliberate threats and condemnation of Black and Brown people, you do not need to say something perfectly, just stand up and say something.”

Under Indiana law, Mayor Thomson has 10 days to either sign or veto the resolution after the city clerk presents the passed resolution.

Adopting such resolutions is nothing new to the Bloomington City Council. In 2003, when the U.S. was preparing for a possible war in Iraq, the council passed a resolution that opposed a war. Several major U.S. cities, like Chicago, and San Francisco have adopted their own resolutions asking for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The 9-0 vote came just before midnight after a lengthy public comment section, which featured racist and antisemitic remarks.