TJP Staff Report
During the morning session of the Dallas City Council’s weekly meeting Dec. 13, about a dozen pro-Palestinian speakers and many of their supporters packed the chamber. At times, the council’s proceedings were disrupted, and Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson pleaded with the crowd to follow the City Council’s rules of decorum. Ultimately, law enforcement removed several of the disruptive people in the gallery.
On Thursday, City Council Member Adam Bazaldua (District 7) issued a press release calling for the City Council to “to take a clear stance, and vote to pass a resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian aid effort and exit strategy for all innocent civilians in Gaza and the West Bank. Additionally, in accordance with the United Nations Resolution, call for peaceful negotiations for a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Balzadua’s statement asked that the same support that was afforded the Jewish community should be afforded to the Palestinian community in Dallas. At the Council meeting Oct. 11, immediately following the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack on Israel, the Dallas City Council unanimously supported a resolution to stabdt by Israel and condemn terrorism. That resolution was met with opposition from members of the gallery, a host of pro-Palestinian Dallasites who were vehemently anti-Israel and attempted to make the resolution one about politics in the Gaza Strip.
In his statement Thursday, Balzadua added, “We understand that it is imperative we take a stand and affirm to you that your experiences and pain are profoundly seen and heard. The pain and grief conveyed by your words will sit with us far beyond when the conversation concludes.”
City Council Member Cara Mendelsohn (District 12) shared that she believed the call for the new resolution was driven by political winds, not based on conviction. Mendelsohn is one of two Jewish council members; the other is Jaynie Schultz (District 11). Mendelsohn said that if Bazaldua’s resolution moves forward, which is unknown at this time, she hopes the Jewish and pro-Israel community will come out to speak to the city council and oppose the resolution.
Mendelsohn has received some online threats in recent weeks. Following the City Council meeting, there were several messages scrawled in chalk disparaging Mendelsohn with profanity and hateful comments.
Mendelsohn says she is not afraid, is alert and prepared, and the Dallas Police Department is aware and monitoring. She remains steadfast in her outspoken support of Israel and Jewish security throughout the United States.
The next full Dallas City Council meeting is Jan. 10. Videos of all Dallas City Council meetings are available on the City of Dallas website at https://dallascityhall.com/government/pages/live.aspx.