Citizens Call On Frederick County Council To Support A Resolution Calling For A Cease Fire In Gaza

They say too many civilians and children have suffered.

Frederick, Md (KM) Several citizens supporting a cease fire in the Middle East testified before the Frederick County Council Tuesday night.   They asked local elected officials to support a resolution calling for a permanent cease fire between the Israelis and Hamas.

Khalil Elschazly is President of the Islamic Society of Frederick. “The genocide that’s going on in Gaza is  having tremendous affect on our Muslim community at large,”: he said. “We have about 200 Palestinian families in Frederick, and the stories and the horror that they hear is really unbearable.”

Israel and Hamas have been fighting each other since a Hamas raided an Israeli settlement October, 2023. The war has taken a toll on the civilian population, particularly children.

Another citizen who spoke in support of a cease fire resolution was local attorney Wilie Mahone. “We are in support of the permanent cease fire resolution as we understand the barbarity of the current Israeli administration which has repeatedly announced the intent to totally eviscerate the Palestinians to the point of non-existence. That is genocide. That is genocide,” he said.

Eric Musa has lived in Frederick County most of his life, but he has family in that area of the Middle East going back generations. He discussed the impact the fighting has had on the children. “All told the number of Palestinian children directly impacted by violence in Gaza is roughly equal to the student population of Frederick County Public Schools at around 45,000,” he said. “Can you imagine an entire generation of students from pre-K all the way up to graduation being maimed, and killed to this extent. I think it’s unthinkable.”

Even though the war in Gaza is not  a local issue, Grady O”Rear told the Council local officials can make a difference. “We’ve all heard the expression ‘all politics are local.’ The resolution before you is a local issue that you can help advocate for at both the state and national levels,” he said. “The city and county of Frederick have influence over federal funding and policies.”

Doctor Polly Messinger, who lives on Elmer Derr Road, testified in support of the resolution. “We cannot stand by and be silent while this goes on,”: she said. “We need to stand, and have a little bit of courage and say ‘we oppose this war and want a cease fire.”

Doctor Messigner said supporting this resolution is not being anti-Israel. She blamed that nation’s current Prime Minster, Benjamin Netanyahu, for prolonging the war in order to stay in office and not go to jail.

The County Council took no action on the request. The speakers noted that other municipalities in the region have voted in favor of similar resolutions, including Takoma Park and College Park, in Maryland; Harrisonburg, Virginia; and Wilmington, Delaware.

By Kevin McManus