Apr 5, 2024 - News

Mayor Justin Bibb declines to sign Gaza ceasefire resolution

Close-up of Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb in suit and tie.

Photo: Sam Allard/Axios

Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb has declined to sign a city council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

State of play: Bibb said the resolution, which condemned both Islamophobia and antisemitism and the Oct. 7 Hamas attack, did not "adequately reflect [his] views."

What they're saying: "Any discussion of the current conflict must be centered in the condemnation of Hamas and a plain understanding that it is the fundamental obstacle to peace today," Bibb said in a statement.

  • The Jewish Federation of Cleveland praised the Mayor's decision on social media, saying he "made clear he can't be bullied into ignoring the fact that Hamas has refused all ceasefire agreements that would stop Israel's rescue mission to bring the hostages home."

Between the lines: City council resolutions are largely symbolic.

  • Council passed the resolution at its March 25 meeting, on the heels of a similar United Nations resolution and after months of persistent calls from the local Palestinian community.

The other side: Bibb's refusal to sign the resolution was "appalling," CAIR-Ohio executive director Faten Odeh said.

  • "Choosing not to sign a ceasefire resolution essentially means he does not want the violence to end on innocent civilians who are being murdered by the thousands," Odeh said in a statement.

The intrigue: Bibb did not veto the resolution. It is in effect without his signature.

The bottom line: Bibb said his priority as mayor is to safeguard residents from all forms of bigotry and hate.

  • "Cleveland will always be a city for all peoples," he said. "And as a Clevelander, I pray for peace here and abroad."
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