Speaking during the public comment period at the start of the meeting were frequent protesters Blaine Coleman, Mozhgan Savabieasfahani and Henry Herskovitz.
"I'm here because I'm hopeful that Mr. Chuck Warpehoski will spearhead a citywide boycott of Israel and stop arming the racist state of Israel, so that it is no longer able to slaughter children," Savabieasfahani said...
...Coleman used more graphic imagery, calling Israel a "Nazi state."
"Tonight as we meet here, Israel is bludgeoning Gaza with unimaginable numbers of weaponry," he said. "One of the most powerful military machines on earth, Israel, the fourth biggest military machine on earth, is bludgeoning a tiny, helpless strip of land called the Gaza strip where people are packed like sardines."
Coleman referenced a resolution adopted by Warpehoski's group in May 2003 that called for "arms divestment and cessation of U.S. military aid to Israel." In the resolution, ICPJ pledged to work with various groups — including the city of Ann Arbor and University of Michigan — to use their influence to encourage the U.S. government to suspend its military aid and arms sales to Israel and to divest from all companies that manufacture or sell arms and other military hardware to Israel.
"Again, I call on the City Council to pass a resolution to boycott the apartheid state of Israel," Coleman said Monday night, suggesting Warpehoski should put the ICPJ resolution into action. "As I've said before, the trillions of dollars the United States has spent on killing Muslims, on killing Arabs, should be spent instead on rebuilding Detroit and rebuilding the inner cities of the United States."
Warpehoski and other city officials did not respond to the protesters during the meeting, but they shared their thoughts with AnnArbor.com during interviews later in the night....
...Warpehoski said it's true that ICPJ did pass a resolution taking a stand against military spending and military investment in Israel.
"But we're a peace group," he said. "We don't think the U.S. should be giving military arms to any country, so yes, we have concerns about military spending with Israel...."
...Below are two videos of the anti-Israel protesters in action. The first video is from a demonstration Tuesday at U-M. The second is from an appearance before the City Council in 2009.
UPDATE, NOV. 14, 8:59 A.M.: The legislative council of the Associated Students of UCI [University of California, Irvine] voted 16-0, with no abstentions, to favor the resolution calling for university divestment from Caterpillar, General Electric, Hewlett Packard, Raytheon and other companies "profiting from human rights violations in the occupied territories," according to a statement from Irvine Divest...
..."I am very proud of my fellow council members and of the students at our university," Sabreen Shalabi, the student representative on the legislative council for the school of social science and co-author of the legislation, says in the release. "Our work today stands tall in the noble tradition of students advocating for justice, joining the ranks of those brave and visionary students who demanded that our universities divest from the terrible crimes of South African apartheid."
"The decision made by ASUCI's legislative Council tonight clearly shows the strength and integrity of students utilizing their collective power to protect human rights on a global scale," adds Traci Ishigo, ASUCI president, "and I stand firmly by the students who believe it is their responsibility to have a voice on matters that urge the UC to be an institution that treasures human dignity."