Hey, there! Log in / Register

Boston City Council tables any action on Israel, Hamas and Palestine

Tania Fernandes Anderson crying

Fernandes Anderson cries while talking about murdered children.

Ed. note: Video of the discussions on the two resolutions is at the bottom of the story.

Boston City Council President Ed Flynn sent two proposed resolutions on Israel and Palestine to a committee for further study and hearings.

The council's committee of the whole - basically, the entire council - will now schedule hearings on a resolution by Councilor Michael Flaherty (at large) to support Israel and condemn Hamas and a separate one by Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson (Roxbury) calling for an immediate ceasefire in the region.

Fernandes Anderson said terrorists are terrorists and that she would equally condemn Muslims killing innocent civilians. But she called most of her colleagues "cowards" who have consistently refused to talk about decades, centuries of violence against Blacks, native Americans, aborigines and now Palestinians.

Flynn stopped most discussion on Flaherty's proposal after Councilor Gabriela Coletta (East Boston, Charlestown, North End) objected to an immediate vote - not because she condones terror attacks but because she wants a more detailed hearing. That is actually the normal process for measures coming before the council for the first time.

Coletta said she absolutely condemns Hamas's terror attack on Israel, but added "I also recognize what has transpired since, the immeasurable pain and suffering of Palestinians who have no connection to Hamas."

Flynn similarly halted any immediate action on Fernandes Anderson's resolution - which she co-sponsored with Councilor Julia Mejia (at large) - after Councilor Sharon Durkan (Beacon Hill, Back Bay, Fenway, Mission Hill) raised a similar objection.

Before Coletta rose to speak on Flaherty's proposal, Flaherty and Councilor Frank Baker (Dorchester) spoke and condemned Hamas.

Baker, who has a young daughter, described the horror of the music festival, where Hamas fighters drove in, killing men and kidnapping and raping women. "We need to condemn what Hamas did there, not the Palestinian people, Hamas," he said, adding, "That looked like Crystal Night to me."

Also speaking before Flynn cut off discussion was at-large Councilor Julia Mejia. Mejia said she would also support sending the matter to a committee first. She said that about a year ago, when some issue involving Cuba came up, she said she was told the City Council should be focusing on city business, not foreign affairs. Also, she said, a committee hearing would let more people - including councilors not present today - to speak. Councilors Brian Worrell (Dorchester), Kendra Lara (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury), Ruthzee Louijeune (at large) and Ricardo Arroyo (Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale) were absent today - Arroyo because he has tested positive for Covid-19.

Although she did not speak on the proposal, Councilor Erin Murphy made her feelings clear by using her slot for inviting a local clergy member to give an invocation to have Rabbi Yitzhak Korff open the council meeting with an invocation - roughly a month and a half after he last gave the invocation. Before giving the traditional benediction, Korff said he had been in Jerusalem the day of the attacks and described the horror of that day, including a couple getting a call from their daughter's phone number - only to hear a Hamas terrorist say he was about to rape her and wanted them to hear it.

Korff said Hamas had turned the Gaza Strip from a self-sufficient enclave when Israelis still lived there into a resource-short hellhole through its focus on making war. ""It could have been very different if the citizens of Palestine had not elected Hamas," he said.

After Flynn stopped discussion on the Flaherty resolution, Fernandes Anderson (Roxbury) raised a point of order, not on the matter itself, but on the issue of who Flynn appears to be favoring male councilors when things get heated. She said that when a woman councilor stands and speaks without recognition from the podium, Flynn admonishes them for talking out of turn, but that men sitting at their seats can just blurt out anything without fear of being told to be quiet.

She then pointed to Flaherty, who sits next to her: "I'm on the mic, he's talking," she said. Flynn told Flaherty to stop talking.

Fernandes Anderson later said she did not think Flynn was sexist, but that she's tired of the men on the council getting away with talking over her women colleagues, as she said happened when Coletta was speaking.

And then Fernandes Anderson rose to introduce her resolution for an immediate ceasefire on both sides of the border after what she said was a humanitarian crisis caused by bombardment and the cutoff of food, water and electricity by the Israeli "apartheid" regime and the destruction of more than 1 million homes after what her resolution called "military operations" by Hamas.

She said she condemned killing of innocent civilians by either side. "It's horrible," she said. "People are dying, let's just focus on the good that we can do" through a ceasefire.

Durkan, though, said the conflict is just too personal for her to support that proposal as written. She said her grandfather was a Spanish "converso" - a Jew who became Catholic to avoid persecution under the Franco regime, and that after talking with her predecessors Mike Ross and Josh Zakim , who are both Jewish, she knows that the left is using an outdated definition of colonialism to call for Israel's destruction in a "cruel dehumanizing view of Jews."

Although she recognized that all people in the region have the right to peace and freedom, she said that Israel itself is a place for refugees, from Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Russia, from the Holocaust, in a land Jews have lived for thousands of years, only they have no place to return to should Israel cease to exist.

Baker said he also could not support a call for a ceasefire without the return of Israeli and other hostages and derided calling what Hamas did a "military operation" because it was terrorism. He returned to that music festival. "Those little girls at that concert, that were having a fun time, they're being raped now," he said.

Flynn gave Fernandes Anderson a chance to respond before he closed the matter.

She said, fine, she's open to changing the language of her resolution. "If you're killing innocent children you're a terrorist, I'm not opposed to [adding] that," she said.

But she said she's tired of most of her colleagues being unwilling to deal with troublesome issues unless it involves their particular political agendas, which she said very much ignore Black and brown people and their histories, every bit as horrific as that of the Holocaust.

"Not everybody is born with bravery," she said. "I'm not judging you."

She continued, "I pray that God forgives you for your cowardice. As a human race, we've failed, we're in trouble."

She returned to the issue of children being slaughtered on both sides, and briefly broke down in tears.

"Oh, my God, it's disgusting," Fernandes Anderson said. We're talking about stop killing babies! Stop it on all levels."

Mejia rose and gave her a pat on the back.

"No Jew that is praying and faithful and righteous is killing children," Fernandes Anderson said. "No Muslim that is prayerful and faithful and righteous is killing children. these people are political animals!"

She closed by saying that, one day, her colleagues would learn to accept her truth.

"As much as you hate listening to me, as much as you disagree with me, it resonates with you because everything that is true comes from God and whether you reject it or not, it resonates deep in your bones," she said.

Discussion on Flaherty's resolution:

Discussion on Fernandes Anderson's resolution:

Korff's comments:

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 


Ad:


Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

A nicely written summary.

up
Voting closed 0

The story about this meeting in the Globe tomorrow will not come close to capturing the same level of detail as Adam's piece. I feel like I was there!

up
Voting closed 1

This is the only place with comprehensive coverage of the council meetings, but it's also rampant with ridiculously racist comments every time the council is mentioned. Y'all really should look at some Black-owned forums and see just how different the comments are regarding the city councilors of color (especially whether people tend to take the police and MSM's reporting of things at face value vs. looking at multiple sources of information and seeing through racism).

up
Voting closed 0

The Boston City Council should not waste time on foreign policy matters that are clearly the responsibility of our federal government. City council foreign policy should be to establish sister city relationships and other things of that sort, not this

up
Voting closed 1

Thank you Boston City Council for addressing this issue. It is you and you alone that will stop the violence in the middle east. Netanyahu is eagerly awaiting the resolution from the Boston City Council to help decide the pathway forward.

Hooray for the Boston City Council.

up
Voting closed 0

She said that about a year ago, when some issue involving Cuba came up, she said she was told the City Council should be focusing on city business, not foreign affairs.

As horrible as things are in Gaza, the best thing the councilors can do is focus on things which the City government controls. Make Boston a model city of peace and good governance.

up
Voting closed 1

Unlikely voice of reason.

She did good today.

up
Voting closed 1

The objection on the part of one city councilor to having a debate over the present situation in the Mid-East should not be the one person to shut down discussions about a subject that everybody is aware of and listening in on. I think that Meija is wrong on this one, and one doesn't have to be a Boston resident (and I'm not), to realize and understand that.

up
Voting closed 0

What a crock of shit, her husband murdered an innocent man. She's got no right to speak the way she does about murder. She's a garbage person.

up
Voting closed 0

She praised him. Called him great.

Ho Chi Mihn. You know, that peace loving guy.

up
Voting closed 0

After the defeat of Japan, he appealed to the USA, asking for our help establishing a modern constitutional democracy. Truman’s response was, approximately, “nah, we’d rather help the French re-establish colonial domination over your country.” Ho successfully drove out the French, and looked to be heading to win national elections. Then the USA invaded his country and set up a puppet government in the south. Ho eventually defeated the puppet government and drove out the biggest, most powerful military on earth, all without falling victim to Russian or Chinese colonialism, thereby creating an independent Vietnam. What’s not to respect there?

up
Voting closed 0

You can take the DeLorean to the Mekong Delta in late 1975 and ask how everyone who doesn't like Mr. Ho's successors on their plans for the next few years.

They involve Houston, Fields Corner, and Los Angeles.

up
Voting closed 0

She's a "garbage person" with "no right to speak" because of something her husband did? What, was she an accomplice to that crime?

up
Voting closed 1

Enough of this. We have plenty of local problems in the city. What's up with the Mass & Cass situation?
Clean it up!

up
Voting closed 0

Then they are not just terrorists, they are war criminals, period.

Directing attacks against civilians, rape, taking hostages, and using civilians as human shields are all war crimes.

up
Voting closed 1

Those paid elected officials need to keep the same energy for matters in BOSTON they tell and scream but nothing is ever done for our own

up
Voting closed 1

"Not everybody is born with bravery," she said. "I'm not judging you."

She continued, "I pray that God forgives you for your cowardice.

But not judging.

She closed by saying that, one day, her colleagues would learn to accept her truth.

"As much as you hate listening to me, as much as you disagree with me, it resonates with you because everything that is true comes from God and whether you reject it or not, it resonates deep in your bones," she said.

Fernandes Anderson is a deluded, bigoted dingbat. But I'm not judging.

up
Voting closed 0

The folks who denigrate black women and the folks who recognize the strength and bravery of black women for persevering in the face of the former lot.

up
Voting closed 1

The folks who will engage in any sort of logical contortion or delusion to excuse crimes, misdeeds, or misbehavior based on a person's skin color, gender, religion, or other preferred group; and those who understand that none of those characteristics keep someone from being a shitty person.

up
Voting closed 2

The people who understand binary, and the people who don't.

up
Voting closed 0

Your reductionist take means that Diane Wilkerson would remain above reproach, regardless of how many times she is convicted of crimes, because... black woman.

As for Mrs. Anderson, I never trust a religious person who first says that only God (or whoever) can judge, then in their next breath judges someone.

It would be hypocrisy to say that I never utter my opinion on the actions of others. At the end of the day, I do believe that my opinions are worthless compared to God's will, but I'm certainly not going to begin my criticisms of others with "only God can judge." That's the most backhanded of insults, and borderline blasphemous.

God will judge if she is right or wrong in how she acts, as God will judge me and the rest of us.

up
Voting closed 0

So do you believe that we should expect all types of people not to be hypocrites, or that it's unfair to expect that of some people?

I see some here think there are some types of people who it would be unfair to expect that much of.

up
Voting closed 0

But it takes a certain special person to be blatantly hypocritical in their statements.

Now, if she mentioned that God is the only true judge one week, then judged people a week later, that would at least put time between the two statements. Still hypocrisy, time somehow makes it easier to take.

up
Voting closed 0

Where's the bigotry in the statements you quoted above? Or in anything else attributed to her in Adam's article?

up
Voting closed 0

I happened to drop by City Hall 11:30ish for a quick transaction, and the police presence outside (I entered on Congress Street and existed at the main entrance) was immense.

up
Voting closed 0

They've been reallocated to provide security to the city dignitaries.

up
Voting closed 1

It's worth noting that the current Gaza government was elected by only about 10% of the city population, just like in Boston.

up
Voting closed 0

Unless the last election allowed to be held for the municipal government of Boston was also in 2006.

up
Voting closed 0

because there are many saying that all the people of Gaza deserve the punishment that Hamas deserves, because they voted for Hamas. No, most of them didn't. Half of the population of Gaza wasn't born the last time anyone voted for Hamas.

up
Voting closed 1

?

up
Voting closed 1

Is anyone HERE saying that?

What reasonable comparisons can be made between the City of Boston and Gaza (either Gaza City or the Gaza Strip)? I don't see voter turnout as one of them.

up
Voting closed 0

...and, considering the source, likely to be factually incorrect as well. But if you look at the widely quoted statistic that about half the population of Gaza is under the age of 18...most of them weren't even born in 2006, much less voting. So, the claim of "they voted for Hamas" is certainly false.

up
Voting closed 0

is quoted above as having said just that.

"It could have been very different if the citizens of Palestine had not elected Hamas," he said.

up
Voting closed 0

that's a far cry from saying "people in Gaza deserve what they are getting because they voted for Hamas"

If you took specific issue with what Rabbi Korf said, it would have saved us a bit of time had you directly referenced the statement.

But the way I see it, it's absolutely a reasonable statement to say that things could have turned out very differently if that last vote that empowered Hamas to take control of Gaza had a different result. For all we know, it could have turned out worse than it did, we will never know.

There will be no winners at the end of this, it's just a matter of who will lose the least.

up
Voting closed 0

Now included at the bottom of the original post.

up
Voting closed 0

Ive never been a fan of bringing international affairs way beyond a local government's control to these meetings. Symbolism is important in government but if you think something might be controversial you should leave it at home. A symbolic resolution really should be so obvious that you'd never have guessed someone would have objected to it. In these cases it seems like it should have been obvious that there would be some disagreement.

up
Voting closed 0

I read these resolution v counter resolution agenda items as a proxy for opposing councilors to take shots at each other waaaay more than this was about Israel-Hamas-Palestine horrors.
Four members missing, all ppl of color was not unremarkable. What's up? Arroyo explained he has Covid.
Also not lost was Baker's wallpaper chewing performance before Coletta used procedure to shut it down. His ahistoric comparison of the Hamas attacks to Kristallnacht just fanned flames of hate and did nothing to move the BCC business forward.
I'm looking forward to the election.

up
Voting closed 0

Let's say the government of Madrid, Spain passed a resolution condemning Boston for opioid and housing crisis and urged the city to immediately get people into effective rehabilitation, halt over-consumption of drugs, and provided affordable housing to all residents.

Would any of the Boston city councilors care? Would they take this proclamation from distant government to heart and do anything differently?

up
Voting closed 0

(Expletive) your mythology.

up
Voting closed 1