Jan 30, 2024 - News

Cleveland's lone Jewish council member calls for ceasefire in Gaza

Cleveland council woman Rebecca Maurer speaks in the council chambers.

Rebecca Maurer addresses her colleagues on Cleveland City Council. Screenshot: TV20

Cleveland City Council's lone Jewish member delivered a passionate call for a ceasefire in Gaza on Monday night as her colleagues closed the door on a local resolution.

Catch up quick: Rebecca Maurer, who represents Slavic Village and Old Brooklyn, was previously the only council member to issue a written statement calling for a ceasefire.

  • For weeks, she has been meeting with her colleagues and leaders of Palestinian and Jewish advocacy organizations, working to craft a resolution.

The latest: On Monday, she apologized for her silence to the pro-Palestinian demonstrators who have been attending council meetings for 11 straight weeks and said "nothing was a substitute" for using her voice in the council chambers.

What they're saying: "There are many who want to make a resolution complicated, who say that to speak out we must say everything exactly right," she said in a nearly eight-minute address.

  • "To that I say, the situation before us is very, very simple. We have witnessed civilian death on a massive scale."

Between the lines: Maurer's comments were directed in part at council leadership, who published a statement before the meeting saying the governing body was not in a position to pass a "fair and unbiased" resolution.

The other side: "We will not alienate people we call friends with a one-sided, quickly-worded resolution," council president Blaine Griffin's statement read.

  • "This is a nuanced and complicated issue that has seen many failures and scant successes by numerous international diplomats, over many decades. To expect Cleveland City Council to get this ancient conflict 'right' is unfair and misplaced."

Go deeper: The Israel-Hamas conflict hits city halls

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