Letter: City Council should not bend to threats

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I am writing to address and highlight what was said by one of the leaders of the cease-fire movement Feb. 27 — as it left me feeling quite unsettled and concerned. The leader threatened City Council during her speech.

She said: “We don’t want to keep coming here. Those are our demands, is that we need a response from you. We can keep coming here, but we need something back, or we’re just going to start disrupting and moving into different ways to make our voices heard because we do not feel heard.”

It’s not entirely clear what she meant when she said “moving into different ways”; however, it’s clear that it is something more than simply disrupting. The bottom line is that any threats should be taken extremely seriously by the city.

I must also point out that by allowing this group to speak, the city was, in fact, already allowing their voices to be heard. However, being heard does not entail forcing agreement to their demands for action. Demanding action goes beyond being heard. And clearly, in no way should City Council bend to any group that is making threats.

This brings to mind another thing that the leader said in her speech to City Council. She said: “I’m happy to sit across the table, and I’m sure a lot of us are, with Zionist folks of the community to find where we can align and pass a cease-fire resolution, so let’s do that.” This is clearly a red herring. First of all, they don’t have any intention of talking with anyone with opposing views. Second, their so-called discussion already has a predetermined conclusion. Again, that’s not how compromise works. Her words were just a ruse to make her group seem accommodating and open to discussions, which they are not.

Finally, their call for cease-fire is purely performative and based on hatred and not really based on the care for Palestinian civilian lives. You may ask how I know that? Simple logic. If they truly cared about civilian life, they would be open to the surrender by Hamas and the release of all the hostages. If they are truly concerned about the 2 million Gazan civilians, then the surrender of a few thousand Hamas soldiers would be an inconsequential concession in order to save the millions that they claim are at risk. And yet they are dead set against the surrender by Hamas.

The war will undoubtedly be lost by Hamas, and so by not surrendering now, they are just prolonging the misery of the Gazan people. If Hamas surrendered today and released all the hostages, the danger to the civilians would immediately cease. If this group truly cared about the lives of civilians, they should not care about the details of how the war ends as long as civilian lives are out of danger as soon as possible.

— David Moritz


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7 thoughts on “Letter: City Council should not bend to threats

  1. NFB

    ” If they truly cared about civilian life, they would be open to the surrender by Hamas and the release of all the hostages. If they are truly concerned about the 2 million Gazan civilians, then the surrender of a few thousand Hamas soldiers would be an inconsequential concession in order to save the millions that they claim are at risk. And yet they are dead set against the surrender by Hamas.”

    Also, they would be as vehement in their condemnation of Hamas as they are of Israel. Hamas knew full well that Israel would respond to Hamas’s genocidal actions of October 7 when it used gang rape, torture, and kidnappings in its repeatedly stated goal of the complete and total destruction of Israel or any Jewish state. On this Hamas has said there is no compromise. Thus, Hamas eagerly offered up Palestinians for the slaughter as it sees Gaza citizens as perfectly expendable in its quests to wipe Israel or any Jewish state off the map.

    “If Hamas surrendered today and released all the hostages, the danger to the civilians would immediately cease. If this group truly cared about the lives of civilians, they should not care about the details of how the war ends as long as civilian lives are out of danger as soon as possible.”


    After the October 7 attacks I did not see any protesters holding up signs on the Montford Bridge over I-240 and slowing down traffic, but once Israel took actions to defend itself they were there claiming GENOCIDE.

    It seems that members of this group are willing to tolerate and accept actions by Hamas that it protests against Israel. Until they attempt to hold Hamas accountable to the same degree as Israel it is going to be difficult to believe that they are willing “sit across the table…. with Zionist folks,” especially since they consistently use the word “Zionist” as a pejorative.

    Thank you for this letter, Mr. Moritz

  2. Oby Arnold

    The reason no one protested the attack on October 7th is twofold. First, our government wasn’t culpable for that attack. The US did not coordinate with Hamas. Israel, however, is receiving cover and ammunition from the U.S. Second, it is impossible to enforce apartheid without violence and it always begets violent resistance. This is not to excuse the violence, only to contextualize it. October 7th happened days after illegal Israeli settlers shot a palestinian man in the chest and stole his home, a regular feature of Palestinian life. There is no recourse for these injustices. Many of us are worried that, far from protecting the Jewish people, the 75 failed state of Israel is going to end in the intentional starvation of over a million people before our very eyes, making Israel a pariah across the globe, undermining security. No chance the light of history looks fondly upon people who naively defend it.

  3. T100

    Hamas (and the PA) have openly stated that there can be NO PEACE until the land between the river and the sea is rid of die Juden. Why do so many people in the western world NOT believe that as long as Hamas exists there will be no peace.

  4. Jason Williams

    Will an Asheville City Council resolution stop the senseless slaughter and destruction happening in Gaza? No. So why should City Council adopt a Ceasefire resolution? Because they are our elected representatives. We have given them our voices to speak on our behalf about issues we care about as a population.
    It seems that Mr. Moritz and other posters on this topic are alright with the murder of 32,000 human beings, mostly women and children, but for myself and a large number of my fellow residents we are not alright with the inordinate and indiscriminate use of force by Israel against a mostly unarmed and captive population.
    If we can’t trust our elected representatives to speak for us in the public sphere, then why keep them in office?

    • David Moritz

      Jason Williams, there is so much misinformation and gaslighting going on in your post but I’ll try to address your comments one at a time. First, as elected representatives, Our Council represent all of our voices. What data do you have that states that the majority of the people of Asheville want City Council to do what you personally want them to do. I saw about 20 pro-Hamas supporters at City Council yesterday. That represents 0.02% of the population and I know for a fact some of those people live in Sylva so are not even eligible to vote in Asheville. Our democracy allows our elected officials to make decisions. It does not entitle you to bully and compel them to do what you want. If you think that your view is a majority, then you have your opportunity at the next election to elect City Council members that you think better represent your view. That’s how democracy works. What you are suggesting is actually a dictatorship where your minority group gets to decide what is done in our city. Second, you are putting words into my mouth that I did not say. I believe I actually care more about civilian lives than you do. If you cared about civilian lives, your cease-fire resolution would include language that a Hamas surrender would be acceptable to you (although it may not be your first option.). Since you don’t accept that, it means that you value Hamas above the lives of Civilians. Third, Hamas is very well armed. If they weren’t, this war would already be over. Are you aware that Hamas has sent 15,000 rockets to Israel. The damage has been limited due to the Iron Dome defense system that Israel has deployed to protect it’s civilians. That doesn’t mean that the intent of Hamas wasn’t to do as much damage as possible. Again, if you truly care about civilians, I hope your next protest will include chants asking Hamas to surrender for the benefit of the civilians. Until then, you are just the same hypocrite that all these people are.

      • Jason Williams

        You are correct, I do not have data for residents of Asheville’s opinion on this war.
        No, a Dictatorship is when one leader, or a group of leaders who control the Government with no limit to their powers. I really don’t think the liberals of Asheville qualify as that. I think you mean an Oligarchy.
        I am perfectly fine with a Hamas cease-fire as well.
        However if you want to talk about Gaslighting:
        Israel is outlandishly more armed than Hamas.
        Hamas does not have:
        Fighter Jets,
        Precision Guided Missiles,
        Armored Bulldozers,
        Attack, and Surveillance Drones,
        Nuclear Weapons,
        Also lets not even get into how collective punishment of an occupied population is against Article 33 of the Geneva Convention.

  5. mictait

    Wow, David.

    Firstly, that’s not a red herring. A good example of a red herring is when a group of people is petitioning its local government to pass a ceasefire resolution calling for an end to mass murder in one place, and then in a ten minute long diatribe you point to all these other places where murder and crises are also occurring that are unrelated to the topic we’re discussing in a clear attempt to negate and de-legitimize genuine efforts to pass a ceasefire resolution. That would be a red herring.

    A simple Google search can tell you that:
    “A red herring is a logical fallacy in which irrelevant information is presented alongside relevant information, distracting attention from that relevant information.”

    Secondly, we are calling for a ceasefire because we are well aware that our tax dollars are funding a genocidal, fascist, apartheid regime that is attempting to ethnically cleanse a land of its people and is receiving military aid and political cover from our federal government to do it. The US has given Israel roughly $330 billion since its founding in 1948. We send them $3.8 billion per year to subjugate and murder people. No amount of your cherry-picked history can whitewash those well documented facts.

    When people are occupied, resistance is justified. That’s not just a slogan, it’s international law. As Judith Butler recently pointed out, we can debate whether the killing of 1200 people is a justified form of resistance – and to her credit she said it is not – however we cannot debate the justification of killing over 32,000 more in response.

    An eye for an eye is not justice. 32 eyes for an eye is absolutely mass murder.

    Calling for an end to mass murder should not be controversial. Asheville may not have the power to stop this genocide, but we can absolutely send a message to Raleigh and to Washington that the people of Asheville do not want our tax dollars spent murdering nearly 40,000 people and counting – just since October. Over 1 million people are now permanently displaced. Over 74,000 people have been injured – many of whom have lost limbs. Children are literally starving to death. In the thousands. Right now. There are now no functioning hospitals in Gaza. Israel has murdered at least 1000 people in the last 2 weeks alone, while it continues to illegally annex and occupy land in the West Bank. There are countless videos and testimonials depicting the sheer violence and depravity of the Israeli military brutally murdering civilians – the majority of whom are women and children. There are roughly 7,000 people missing – likely dead or dying – buried under rubble.

    Gaza is essentially a massive concentration camp, roughly the square area of Charlotte city limits, in which 2.3 million people are caged with US made bombs raining down on them. This is a genocide plain and simple, and the US can end it by stopping the transfer of weapons to Israel. It is that simple.

    Shame on you David Moritz of East West Capital Group. Shame on you.

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