A photo of Omar Kurdi making a public comment at the Oct. 16 Cleveland City Council meeting.
Omar Kurdi makes a public comment at Cleveland City Council. Credit: Cleveland City Council YouTube

Covered by Documenters Karima McCree-Wilson (notes) and Christina Easter (live-tweet thread)

Public pushback

Six residents of Greater Cleveland voiced their disapproval of Mayor Justin Bibb’s Oct. 7 statement in support of Israel, saying it is one-sided. Faten Odeh, the interim executive director of the Cleveland and Northern Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said that Bibb’s statement ignored decades of Israel’s violence.

Dismissed and diminished

Summer Husein said Bibb’s tweet made the more than 25,000 Palestinian people living in Greater Cleveland feel less safe. “With just one tweet, you dismissed and diminished the oppression that Palestinians have had to endure for over 75 years,” she said.

Omar Kurdi said that, during a TV interview next to City Hall the week prior, someone took a picture of him and posted it online, calling him a terrorist. “I want to see real commitment from the city to protect us, to humanize us and our people, and to stand up for all civilian lives,” he said.

No legislation passed

Only 11 members of City Council were present for the Monday meeting. An official told Council President Blaine Griffin that, due to the excused absences, they would not be able to pass any legislation that evening. Council Members Joe Jones, Brian Kazy, Rebecca Maurer, Jenny Spencer, Jasmin Santana and Richard Starr were absent.

Left wondering

Documenter Karima McCree-Wilson asked, “What, if anything, has Bibb done to better understand and acknowledge the perspective of local Palestinians?”

Watch the full public comments or read transcripts edited by Documenter Gennifer Harding-Gosnell on the Public Comment CLE website created by Ohio City resident Angelo Trivisonno. 

Read more from Documenter Karima McCree-Wilson:

Read the live-tweet thread from Documenter Christina Easter:

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