Feb 12, 2024 - News

Denver City Council rejects ceasefire resolution on Israel-Hamas war

Four people rise in various poses in front of wooden desks inside a large chamber, wearing professional clothing.

(From left) Sarah Parady, Darrell Watson, Amanda Sawyer and Shontel Lewis. Photo: Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The Denver City Council on Monday rejected a formal statement calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

Why it matters: The resolution's failure is a blow to the council's progressive bloc, which sponsored the statement.

Details: The one-page proclamation demanded the immediate release of hostages, protection for civilian structures like schools and hospitals, and humanitarian access to help people affected in the Gaza Strip.

  • It called attention to the mounting death toll: More than 27,000 Palestinians, most of whom are women and children, have been killed since the start of the war.

Context: The final 4-8 vote came after a lengthy discussion among council members and after Monday's meeting moved online after pro-Palestinian advocates inside the chambers interrupted the proceedings.

What they're saying: Council member Kevin Flynn suggested the failed resolution would have created more division, while Paul Kashmann said it was not sufficient in its language calling for a lasting ceasefire.

  • Flor Alvidrez cited a lack of respectful dialogue — including protesters' behavior on Monday — as a reason for voting no.

The other side: "Every person has a responsibility to say 'stop,'" council member Shontel Lewis, who co-sponsored the statement with Sarah Parady, said.

Driving the news: The proclamation was introduced in January, but it was coincidently considered after an overnight Israeli airstrike in the Gaza city of Rafah on Monday killed more than 100 people, including children, according to CNN.

Between the lines: The message in the proclamation echoes one backed by local far-left activists, who go further by demanding the federal government stop providing money and aid to Israel.

  • A "people's proclamation" was presented by the Colorado Palestine Coalition on Monday.

Zoom out: Roughly 70 U.S. cities, including Chicago and Minneapolis, have passed ceasefire proclamations, according to an analysis from Reuters.

Go deeper: How the Israel-Hamas war is playing out in Colorado city councils

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