NY Council manages to create a ceasefire motion opposed by both Israel and Palestine supporters

The council tabled the resolution during a meeting on Tuesday after facing opposition from factions on both sides of the conflict


Both pro-Palestine and pro-Israel groups opposed a ceasefire resolution put forward by the Yonkers City Council, leading the Council to table the motion during a meeting on Tuesday. (Photo by LEONARDO MUNOZ/AFP via Getty Images)

A city council in New York has managed to find a ceasefire resolution that is now facing opposition from both pro-Palestine and pro-Israel groups.

The Yonkers City Council council announced the decision during a meeting on Tuesday evening. A coalition of pro-Palestine groups, including the anti-Zionist group Jewish Voice for Peace, protested the resolution despite months spent calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The ceasefire coalition called it a “Zionist resolution” and a “distorted version” of the original resolution put forward by the group two months prior. They added that the resolution “appears to minimise the severity of the atrocities to which those living in Gaza and the West Bank are being subjected.”

Meanwhile, the City Council received roughly a thousand Jewish residents of Yonkers reportedly protesting the motion to call for a ceasefire at all, according to City Council President Lakish Collins-Bellamy.

She told the New York Jewish Week before the meeting on Tuesday: “My position is, if the group that asked for the resolution does not support it because it doesn’t go as far as they want, and the Jewish community does not support it because they don’t want a ceasefire without the release of hostages, which is totally understandable, then why are we bringing this to a vote?”

Numerous cities in the US have passed ceasefire resolutions since October 7, largely modeling them after the Ceasefire Now resolution proposed by Congresswoman Cori Bush in October which includes a call for the release of Israeli hostages as well as the sending of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

While centrist and right-wing Jewish groups have opposed the push for a ceasefire, calls for an immediate pause in fighting have increased in popularity among US lawmakers and left-wing Jewish groups as Israel’s siege on Gaza persists.

Collins-Bellamy told New York Jewish Week that she believed all 30 of the community members who signed up to speak at the meeting on Tuesday opposed the ceasefire resolution, which would have defended Israel’s right to exist while calling for an end to fighting in Gaza.

The draft also condemned Hamas for the atrocities committed on October 7, adding that the Council “mourns the assault upon and killing of Israelis” as well as the “continued unjust captivity of the innocent hostages in Gaza, and the subsequent displacement of, injuries to, and loss of life of tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians.”

The draft “recognises the right of the Israeli people to live in Israel in peace and the existence of the democratic Jewish state” while simultaneously acknowledging the “right of the Palestinian people to live in Gaza in peace.”

The resolution concludes by recognising “the immediate need for a ceasefire, to facilitate the entry and delivery of necessary humanitarian aid in all forms to the innocent men, women and children of Gaza.”

Collins-Bellamy said the Yonkers City Council was approached by pro-Palestine activists about a ceasefire in January and said that the group opposes the current outline of the resolution “because it is not the version that they drafted.”

“I asked them, ‘Do you want a resolution that says explicitly what you asked for but will be voted down?’” Collins-Bellamy said. “We are absolutely condemning Hamas and they don’t want us to go that route and they want us to use language that is more harsh toward Israel.”

Activists in the Yonkers Ceasefire Coalition disagreed with the council’s call of support for Israel’s right to exist, writing that “the demand to recognise Israel as a Jewish state is a demand to Palestinians to accept their status as non-citizens, second-class citizens and refugees in their own land.”

One of the speakers at the council meeting who spoke on behalf of the Jewish contingency, Rabbi Bini Krauss, argued against the resolution for a different reason. According to the New York Jewish Week, Krauss planned to say in his remarks to the council:

“How can we call for a ceasefire when our fellow Americans are being held and tortured? This council, by rejecting a resolution being furthered by those who do not respect the right of Israel to exist, will stand on the right side of decency, of justice, and of history.”

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