The Berkeley, California mayor issued a statement opposing the ceasefire resolution in the ongoing Israel and Hamas war, saying that the resolutions “will not end the violence abroad, but they do fan the flames of hatred here at home.”

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín issued a statement opposing the ceasefire resolution.

“These resolutions will not end the violence abroad, but they do fan the flames of hatred here at home,” Arreguín said.

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Audience members show their support at a special session of the Oakland City Council for a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

In the statement, the mayor of the liberal city shared his “shock and grief” regarding the Israel-Hamas war as well as the “growing threat” of islamophobia and antisemitism.

“I share the shock and grief that the Berkeley community has felt over the past couple of months in response to Hamas’s barbaric attack against Israel and the resulting military operation in Gaza,” said Mayor Arreguín. “It is impossible to ignore the suffering that is occurring, just as it is impossible to ignore the disturbing rise in antisemitism and islamophobia spreading throughout the world.”

Mayor Arreguín argued that the resolutions, which include calls for a cease-fire, the release of hostages and unrestricted humanitarian aid for Gaza, will “not end the violence abroad.”

“As Mayor, it is my job to keep this community safe, and I remain committed to working with everyone impacted by this conflict to ensure Berkeley remains a safe haven for all,” Arreguín said. “These resolutions will not end the violence abroad, but they do fan the flames of hatred here at home. 

“That’s a threat I cannot ignore,” Arreguín said.

City council members Carroll Fife, from left, Noel Gallo, Nkki Fortunato Bas and Dan Kalb

City council members Carroll Fife, from left, Noel Gallo, Nkki Fortunato Bas and Dan Kalb listen to public comment on a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023, in Oakland, California. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

Arreguín said that recent news that Israel agreed to a temporary pause in the fighting after Hamas released at least 69 hostages had made him “hopeful” for a “peaceful resolution that guarantees the right of both Israel and an independent Palestinian state.”

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“The recent truce and release of some hostages makes me hopeful that peace may soon be at hand. Now is the time to build upon these efforts and ensure that life-saving humanitarian aid is provided, all hostages are safely released, and that all parties adhere to international law to minimize civilian casualties,” Arreguín said. “The international community must work towards de-escalation, and ultimately a peaceful resolution that guarantees the right of both Israel and an independent Palestinian state to safely exist.”

A woman speaks at ceasefire discussion

A woman speaks against the resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, during a special session of the City Council, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023, in Oakland, California. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

On Monday, the nearby Oakland City Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire.

Councilmember Carroll Fife, the resolution’s author, said the issue of a cease-fire was “deeply, deeply concerning” to Oakland residents and called for a moment of silence for the lives lost on both sides of the conflict.

“I want Jewish children to live as much as I want Palestinian children to live, but we’ve got to acknowledge the imbalance and disproportionate death on one side — we’ve got to,” Fife said.

Fife vowed to support of U.S. House Resolution 786, which is sponsored by Rep. Cori Bush, which calls for “an immediate de-escalation and cease-fire in Israel and occupied Palestine.”

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Similar resolutions have passed in Detroit, Michigan; Atlanta, Georgia; Akron, Ohio; Wilmington, Delaware; and Providence, Rhode Island.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.





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