City council approves proclamation to condemn the attacks against the State of Israel

Emotions flowed amongst the Mercer Island City Councilmembers at their Oct. 17 regular hybrid meeting regarding what has occurred in the Middle East over the last two weeks.

“The divisiveness, the horror, it’s unspeakable and it’s affecting my family and friends and several of them are deployed and several have lost many family members and loved ones,” said councilmember Wendy Weiker over the Zoom platform.

The full council voiced its support for those affected by the attacks in Israel, both through individual comments and by approving a proclamation to “condemn the attacks against the State of Israel and pledge unwavering support to the Jewish population on Mercer Island, ensuring that Mercer Island remains a place of safety, unity, and support,” according to a city document.

According to Deputy Mayor Dave Rosenbaum, council also approved the joint statement that he and Mayor Salim Nice issued on Oct. 10 on Nice’s X (formerly known as Twitter) page — and run in the Reporter in print and online — to be used in city communications.

Nice and Rosenbaum’s statement reads in part: “We are united, the first Ismaili Mayor in the United States and the son of a Rabbi, to denounce these abhorrent actions and call for our community to support our Jewish neighbors, so that Mercer Island remains a community grounded in unity and safety for all.”

The mayor noted that the statement and proclamation came from the heart.

Weiker thanked Nice and Rosenbaum for stepping up as city leaders and drafting the proclamation that they brought before council. Weiker showed appreciation for the proclamation’s call to action, “for taking acts of kindness and trying to find hope and light in the darkness of this time,” she said. The proclamation also urged Mercer Island residents to engage in education and community events while emphasizing the importance of unity, understanding and mutual respect amongst all Island residents.

Rosenbaum noted that he’s deeply appreciative to the people who have helped fortify him and the Jewish community during these trying times. He encouraged the council to vote in favor of the proclamation.

He spoke from the heart, he noted, while addressing council and Islanders at the meeting: “What I want to call out, something that was special to me was the support that I received from so many members in the community, from so many places to reach out and to be a neighbor and to just say, ‘How are you?’”

Councilmember Ted Weinberg echoed Rosenbaum’s sentiments, and councilmember Jake Jacobson said he hopes Mercer Island can set an example for other cities to rise up and be heard.

“I think it’s extremely important that we as a very unique city, a remarkable city and the values that we hold most civically and individually make it very very clear how we stand,” Jacobson said.