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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Easton City Council Rejects Cease Fire Resolution, But Calls For Peace

"We will vote you out."
Easton City Council last night rejected a cease-fire resolution concerning the Gaza conflagration. It was sponsored by Council member Taiba Sultana. Her resolution died for a lack of a second. But by a 6-1 vote, with Sultana the sole dissenter, they adopted a resolution calling for world peace. (The text of both the cease-fire resolution and the competing peace proposal are located here). 

Sultana questioned how six members of City Council could draft a resolution without first consulting her. Council member Frank Pintabone responded, "I think our resolution was drafted the same way yours was because nobody was offered to get involved with yours either." 

She also stated resolutions eventually become law, but was corrected by both Solicitor Joel Scheer and Mayor Sal Panto. They both said that an ordinance is required for anything to become a city law. 

Sultana argued the peace notes there are over 45 armed conflicts but fails to specify where. That can be found with a one-second search at Google, which lists precisely where there are 62 ongoing armed conflicts in the world

Council member Crystal Rose explained that "the thought process was that there are always going to be conflicts worldwide and we would like to say that all of us up here don't want to see people die, we don't want to see people harmed, we don't want to see armed conflict throughout the world but we want to get back to city business and I think that if we keep bringing this up, we're getting away from the things that the people elected us to do here. I have had an overwhelming amount of people come up to me and email me and ... most of them have been angered that we are focusing on issues that don't involve Easton." She said she was elected to deal with issues like affordable housing and food insecurity.

Sultana said she was listening to the people who came to the meeting, not those who sit in their "cozy homes." Pintabone said he received 740 emails just that day "90% of them told me they did not elect me to represent them on international business. They elected me to represent them in City of Easton business. 

Of the 13 members of the public who spoke before the vote, 12 supported the cease-fire resolution. I have summarized their comments below. I found it necessary to fact check a few claims.  

Kaitlyn Hart (sp?): "I've been able to hold my newborn while others have placed white sheets over theirs." 80% of the world's population experiencing famine is in the Gaza strip."

Factcheck: The claim that 80% of those who experience famine worldwide are in the Gaza strip is false. Today, nearly 45 million people in 37 different countries are at risk of starvation. This problem is most acute in Somalia. 

Mark Rosenzweig "We can't ignore this ... genocide in progress. It's being televised. " At least 70 cities have advocated cease-fire resolutions. 

Factcheck (Reuters): 70 cities have called for ceasefires in Gaza. 48 cities have called for a halt to bombing in Gaza. Six cities have adopted resolutions broadly calling for peace. 20 cities have condemned the Hamas attack in Israel. 

Jason Werner: A ceasefire resolution is appropriate on a local level because "that is the most direct form of democracy the people have."  

Kaylee Smith: "Our tax dollars are sent to Israel when they could instead fund the future of our children in this city." 

Crystal Phillips: "I wish that we would fill the room for local stuff. ... There's multiple things that we presented as south side residents, but you [Council member Sultana] have not been there for us ... and it's frustrating."

(Council member Sultana retorted that she represents residents "diligently.")

Rai Ismail: $367,000 goes to Israel from Easton.

Factcheck: Any calculation of how much each city resident contributes via federal tax to Israel is at best a guestimate. 

Logan Scheirer: He lives in Lehighton but is too scared to speak there because residents there intimidate him with threats and harassment.. He spoke twice to Easton City Council, both before and after the vote. Then he made his own promise to return to every City Council meeting until a cease fire resolution is adopted. 

Aven Lancaster: All 12 universities in Gaza have been bombed and destroyed. 

Factcheck: All 12 universities have been bombed and destroyed or damaged. 378 schools have been destroyed or damaged,   

Avalea Danes: Unless City Council adopts a cease-fire resolution, "we will organize and we will vote you out for your duplicity."

Yaseen Salee: This was his fourth or fifth appearance before City Council. He pretty much said what he said every other time. 

Raya Abdelaal: "We're gonna' keep coming back 'till this is passed."

Jack Rosa with flag and mask: claimed incorrectly that Easton City's budget "is and has been funding a genocide in Palestine." She added South side Easton is not as important as the conflagration in Gaza.

Thomas Henchen: Criticized the competing peace resolution as a "vague platitude that mocks us. ... We know how the world works. ... We are a political movement with political power.""

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

A single resolution addressed 45 global "disputes," yet it avoided calling for a ceasefire. Despite attempting to conceal their genocidal intentions, it is evident that people are not naive. Pintabone's actions are deceitful, and he should feel ashamed. He engages in superficial meetings but doesn’t have ball to call for a ceasefire. The entire council should be voted out. I commend Councilwoman Sultana for her commitment to our city's residents.

Anonymous said...

So Sultana voted NO to a resolution calling for worldwide peace ????

Anonymous said...

The media reports that she voted against the resolution due to its lack of specificity. The resolution fails to pinpoint any specific problem or propose any solutions. She also pointed out the inconsistency of advocating for peace without also calling for a ceasefire, a valid point in my view.

Anonymous said...

I call for a resolution to have sultana sent for a mental evaluation and to have an operation to have her liar, liar - pants on fire button removed.

Anonymous said...

The Easton council members, including Pintabone and Crystal, are being hypocritical. Despite running to represent the people, they have now aligned themselves with their Master, Panto.

Pintabone received 740 emails in one day, with 90% of them expressing dissatisfaction that he was focusing on international business instead of City of Easton affairs. Yet, he proceeded to vote on a "peace" resolution, urging the entire world to promote peace, not just the federal government.

It is disappointing to see Frank Pintabone and Crystal Rose's actions.

Anonymous said...

Across the globe today, combatants are laying down their weapons and embracing their former foes.
And it all started in Easton!

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, housing, violence, ever increasing fees went unaddressed. Those who voted for her are imbeciles. You know who you are.

Anonymous said...

" The Easton council members, including Pintabone and Crystal, are being hypocritical. Despite running to represent the people "

Bullshit. Frank and the others were elected to represent the citizens of Easton, not Gaza. Moreover, the vast majority of Americans actually support Israel. The pseudo Marxist activists that turfed into the meeting wouldn't understand that.

Go back to Lehighton and the Bronx.

Anonymous said...

Wait she dissented on the motion for global peace. 😳 I'm going to see her in action March 5th

Dumbass

Anonymous said...

I wish people would stop repeating the 'Easton gives $367k to Israel' line. It comes from a website that just took the amount of money sent to Israel and divided it evenly by the number of households in the country. That's not how government funding works.

You can make a case against funding a genocide without repeating misinformation.

(CITIES: To calculate cities’ annual contribution, we used data reported by the US Census Bureau in its 2021 American Community Survey (ACS) (5-Year Estimate) according to the SimpleMaps cities database. We took the the annual amount of U.S. military funding to Israel ($3,800,000,000) and divided it by the total households in the U.S. to find the average amount paid to Israel per household. We then multiplied that figure by the number of households in each city to determine the annual contribution for taxpayers in that city through their federal tax dollars.)

Bernie O'Hare said...

"A single resolution addressed 45 global "disputes," yet it avoided calling for a ceasefire."

Calling for a cease fire, without calling for an end to the armed conflict, is temporary at best. Calling for a cease fire in one locale, without calling for an end everywhere, is hypocritical. Finally, Easton City Council should focus on Easton, not the rants of a demagogue who runs for office every five minutes.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I wish people would stop repeating the 'Easton gives $367k to Israel' line. It comes from a website that just took the amount of money sent to Israel and divided it evenly by the number of households in the country. That's not how government funding works.

You can make a case against funding a genocide without repeating misinformation."


Moreover, as was pointed out, the funding does not come from the City of Easton, but from federal tax dollars paid by residents.

Finally, I am bothered by the easy way the word "genocide" is thrown around. Under international law, genocide requires proof of an "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such". While I do believe that some hard-liners in Israel are guilty, I doubt that is true of most people inside the country or its government.

Anonymous said...

The entire council would include you…Taiba

Anonymous said...

Did anyone ask how much the paid protesters were paid?

Anonymous said...

I am very happy to see the new council members rising to the occasion. Sultana for too long has derailed the conversation to things that are not of immediate relevance to the City.

Taiba - we get it. You care about national and international issues. Run for Congress. Stop trying to be the AOC of Easton.

Anonymous said...

It’s tempting to foist Taiba on the state to get her out of Easton but do we want Easton to be known as the town that sent the next Marjorie Taylor Green to Harrisburg to really screw things up? Let’s run a normal person against her and send her packing.

Anonymous said...

Genocide? Isn't that what the Palestinians and Hamas have been calling for, for years? The destruction of Israel? Killing of Jews? And then Hamas commits inhuman acts to innocent women and children? That was an act of war. No cease fire until the Hamas military force is wiped out and hostages have been released.

Anonymous said...

All these issues that you mentioned will be there forever because our government decided to send our tax dollars to Israel.

Anonymous said...

This whole thing is so tiresome. Like either Palestine or Israel’s leaders are seeing this and going, “well if Easton, PA wants peace maybe we should give it a try!” This vote is a waste of time. This issue is a waste of time for this specific element of the government.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but the word "genocide" isn't being bandied about here. There's plenty of evidence, including statements made by Israeli officials over the years, that clearly shows the far-right Israeli government's intentions with regards to Gaza, the West Bank, and Palestinians in general. It also has to be said that the United States has blocked any form of investigation into Israel's action in Gaza and the West Bank over the years. You can choose to ignore the obvious if you like but history will not be so kind.

You can believe whatever you want to believe, but what do polls say? What do government officials say? What do recent election results suggest? What are the actions of the people in power? How were the people in Gaza treated before 10/7? How are people treated in the West Bank?

Anonymous said...

I know this was mentioned numerous times, but international affairs was/is not what Easton City Council does…it has power to vote and approve resolutions, which are basically just opinions that are publicly acknowledged…that’s all the resolution can do….it cannot stop wars, it cannot change international rules of engagement, it has very little teeth to do anything, so please, if you want international cease fire, call/write to your federal legislative leaders and stop wasting time that is allocated for town priorities that town taxpayers pay for.

Anonymous said...

Taiba doesn’t really want peace. She is an antisemite It was a statement the council explained. Showed they support peace all over the world.

Anonymous said...

Sultana is a racist POS. Bernie according to your post a resident called sultana out for doing nothing in the city. Good for that resident

Anonymous said...

After watching last night city Council meeting I was pondering some questions. Why is Miss Sultana continuing to talk about Gaza when she doesn’t want to talk about what is going on here in our little city that she is paid to tend. I am thinking that it is all about seeing her name in the paper. Seeing her face on the News. It is remarkable to me that this person wanting to represent the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, when she is not even representing the City of Easton

Bernie O'Hare said...

9:45, I agree that some Israeli hard-liners are thugs, including Netanyahu, but that is not representative of the government as a whole, the IDF or the Israeli people. So I think the word "genocide" is being used irresponsibly.

Here are some facts to ponder.
1) In 1947, the UN said there should be two separate states on that part of the Levant. Israel said Yes. The Arabs said No and started a war. By the way, the UN did not specify a Palestinian state, but an Arab state.
2) Israel did not steal the land from Arabs. They bought all the land they settled on. After the 1948 war, Arabs lost some land, but that is what happens in a war. Germans lost 25% of its territory after WWII, but are not clamoring to get their lost land back from Poland.
3) Jews have always lived in Israel even before zionism. There were actually more Jews than Muslims in Jerusalem before the partition plan. In 1870, for example, there were 11,000 Jews and 7,000 Muslims in Jerusalem.
4) Jews needed their own state bc, except for a period of about 800 years, they were persecuted and killed in Muslim countries.
5) There never really was a Palestine. That was a name applied by Romans to the area around Judea bc they wanted to punish them for revolting. Name one Palestinian leader who existed prior to 1948. There isn't any bc Palestine never really existed as a nation.
6) After losing the 1948 war, there were about 700,000 refugees who were told they could come back after they killed all the Jews. The UN has established two agencies for refugees. One is for {Palestinian refugees. They can pass it on to children and grandchildren and is paying for the grandchildren of Palestinian refugees from 1948, which is absurd.
7) Muslims in Muslim countries and in Israel have a right to complain about Israel, but heaven help them if they complain about their own government.
8) Palestinians get more aid from the US, UN, European nations and even Israel than any other group ion the world.
9) Whom is really killing Muslims in the Middle East? It's actually other Muslims, not Israel. That is a simple fact. Where is the outcry about what Muslim countries are doing to their own people.
10) There are no Arab countries with democracy or human rights and nearly all their conventions seek to eradicate Jews. I believe them, from the river to the sea.

Anonymous said...

What city councilmen/women do:
They are the governing body of the city.
They enact ordinances subject to approval or veto by mayor
They order elections
They levy taxes
They authorize public improvements
They approve contracts
They adopt traffic regulations
They listen to citizen concerns about city
THEY DO NOT STOP WARS , NOR CEASEFiRES!!

Anonymous said...

“THEY LISTEN TO THEIR CITIZENS” πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

Anonymous said...

Time to go Tiaba….stop attempting to bully people

Anonymous said...

6 of them do

Anonymous said...

Hey, if you can't fix what's wrong with Easton, distracting your citizens from observing the mess over which you preside, by tilting at Middle East windmills that have nothing to do with Easton, is a sound strategy. The next time a shooting occurs on Northampton Street, as happened within the last few months amid the pretty winter decorations, take comfort that Easton City Council solved world peace in a single, blustery February night. They're like Ghandi or something.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have rejected a comment accusing me of Islamaphobia for accurately observing that the basic rights we enjoy here in the US and that Muslims enjoy in Israel are restricted in Muslim countries. That is a simple fact. Most Muslim countries stifle the free press, to say nothing of most other basic human rights. It is a beautiful religion, but can be perverted just like Christianity, Judaism or any other religion.

In many of these countries, a woman needs permission to step outside.

And Muslims have killed far more Muslims than Jews have. That's what's happening in Syria, Yemen,

https://legalscholar.org/the-politics-of-free-speech-in-muslim-countries/#:~:text=The%20Politics%20of%20Free%20Speech%20in%20Muslim%20Countries,...%204%20Judicial%20Protection%20...%205%20Conclusion%20

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Muslim-majority_countries

Woke Bloke said...

Sal Pinto Bean Brain supports the settler colonial actions of Israel which follows his giant man crush of genocidal colonial conqueror Cristobal Colombus, will he have a monument to BiBi installed someday?

Anonymous said...

If you can’t represent your region where you live Tiana, how can you expect to do any good beyond it?

Anonymous said...

@ BO 10:55. Every college kid in America should have to read your great post. Most don’t even know the basic history of Israel and just spew crap they learn from far left loons like Sultana.

Anonymous said...

When Cristobal arrived, the natives were killing and eating each other, trading women as chattel, and sacrificing children to any number of gods they feared. He forced them to stop. That makes him a bad guy to the woke left. I'm a native American. I was born on 20th Street in Wilson Borough. I think Columbus was pretty cool. Bibi's a typical Ivy League guy, except he doesn't viscerally hate Jews.

E. Pleszwezski said...

$367,000 is a low estimate. A $14.BN aid package amounts to $43 per US citizen. Multiply 43 x 28,000 and you are well over a million per.

Anonymous said...

Tell Hamas to release the hostages and surrender. Then they’ll be a ceasefire. This is Israel’s 9/11 and Pearl Harbor. The USA wouldn’t let anyone or country stop us from our retaliatory response and we dropped a nuke!

Anonymous said...

If you watch and listen, Taiba, you would have noticed that Pintabone and Rose voted on this to finally move off the topic once and for all so they could only address city items.

Are you even paying attention at your own meeting, Taiba?

Anonymous said...

Hey Bernie, thanks for staying up on this topic. We all appreciate that you are covering it.

Anonymous said...

That's not how it works at all.

Anonymous said...

Sultana really sucks as a person. She loves to play victim. I can’t stand her and her husband.

Anonymous said...

Do these middle-class women who wear the Yasser Arafat scarves would have no freedom in these countries. Thery would be chattel. But don't let that get in the way of a fashion statement.

Anonymous said...

@3:18. First off, the bottom 50% of taxpayers only pay 2% of the federal income tax. The top 1% pay 46% of the federal income tax, that’s from the last year available, 2021. Not sure what the median household income is in Easton but my guess is many many households do not pay any federal income tax at all. So if they pay little or no federal income tax how are they paying for the aid being sent to Israel?

Anonymous said...

Tired of hearing about her and her misplaced and misunderstood responsibilities

Bernie O'Hare said...

" So if they pay little or no federal income tax how are they paying for the aid being sent to Israel?"

They aren't. The reality here is that Palestinians receive more monetary aid worldwide than any other country. They get $ from the US, Arab nations, the UN, Europe and even from Israel. I am trying to put that together, but the narrative that we support Israel but do not support Palestine is false.

Anonymous said...

"Avalea Danes: Unless City Council adopts a cease-fire resolution, "we will organize and we will vote you out for your duplicity."


Lives in...checks notes...NYC.

Ok, then

Vladimir Ill-itch said...

I want my $43 back so I can buy (what used to be) $18 worth of groceries. Seriously, though, Pintabone is right. Council is there to represent Easton. This is wasted time. South Side Easton is MORE IMPORTANT to city council than the conflict in Gaza.

Anonymous said...

I don’t think so….outlander

Anonymous said...

Yasser Arafat scarves LOL thanks for the chuckle