Dear Editor – Council Needn’t Take on International Issues


In response to both Josh Allan and Ronald Davis’s letters, I would have to agree with Mr. Allan–that it is beyond the purview of Culver City Council to pass a resolution regarding the Israel-Gaza war.

First, the Mayor properly identified that Culver City doesn’t have official economic connections to either side in that conflict. As such, any resolution would be entirely performative and effectively meaningless.

Second, and more importantly, Culver City is home to an established synagogue, Temple Akiba, and an established mosque, the King Fahad Mosque. Both support their respective constituencies in our community.

No matter which side the council would pick in this conflict, a decent sized segment of our community would be made to feel uncomfortable in the city which they call home. That would be an improper result.

As to Mr. Davis’s argument that not taking action is complicity, I strongly disagree. As I have said above, any action on this issue by the city council would be purely performative and essentially meaningless, aside from the fact that one cohort or another of our community would feel hurt by it. Complicity only occurs when you can do something meaningful and fail to, not when you are not in a position to do something meaningful.

Furthermore, Mr. Davis’s moral outrage is misplaced. Individuals may or may not choose to take a position in this (or any other) conflict. Nothing is preventing that from occurring, and he and others are free to express their own personal views. However, a city council resolution implies that the position is supported by the city, including its citizens. That is certainly not the case with regard to this conflict.

The one place where I agree with Mr. Davis is with the need to “clean house.” However, I probably mean something different that he does. For me, cleaning house means focusing on the nuts and bolts of running a city, particularly given budget constraints that we are facing, not performative gestures that waste time and resources, and create discomfort among people that happen to have a different perspective.

There is no shortage of issues facing our community. Of course, that is always the case. Importing an issue that we can do nothing meaningful about is a waste of city staff and council time and resources, and frankly, they are already stretched far enough.

Let city staff and council pay attention to the good work that needs to be done here. There is plenty of it.

Gary M. Zeiss, Esq.

The Actors' Gang