Jan 23, 2024 - News

Minneapolis City Council set to pass resolution calling for Gaza ceasefire

Two women in head-coverings face away from the camera and watch a television screen displaying a woman in a pink blazer.

A crowd in an overflow room outside the Minneapolis City Council meeting watches the debate on a Gaza ceasefire resolution. Photo: Kyle Stokes/Axios

After a city council vote Tuesday, Minneapolis is poised to join a growing list of U.S. cities weighing in on the Israel-Hamas war.

Driving the news: With an overflow crowd watching, council members voted 9-3 to advance a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, teeing up a final vote later this week.

  • Council members Michael Rainville, LaTrisha Vetaw and Linea Palmisano voted against the resolution. Emily Koski abstained.

Why it matters: Supporters hope the votes in Democratic strongholds send a message to U.S. leaders that support on the left has collapsed for further aid to Israel.

What they're saying: "We can join our constituents in putting pressure on the Biden Administration and our federal delegation to putting an end to the hostilities," said council member Aurin Chowdhury, one of the resolution's authors.

  • Aside from the broader political message, supportive council members said many constituents have pushed them to make a moral stand.

Between the lines: The council voted 8-4 to amend the resolution to quote from human rights authorities alleging or raising "alarm" that Israel's actions in Gaza constitute "genocide."

  • Council member Andrea Jenkins voted against using "genocide" — calling it an inflammatory term — but ultimately moved in favor of the resolution.

The other side: Critics said the resolution had become one-sided — and the final language showed the council was way out of its lane.

  • Steve Hunegs, leader of the Jewish Community Relations Council's regional chapter, said the resolution's failure to condemn Hamas was a glaring omission.

Of note: The supermajority vote means the council has enough votes to override a veto by Mayor Jacob Frey.

  • Frey had said he was open to signing off on some sort of formal statement, but has expressed concerns about the resolution taking sides.

Read more: Why the Minneapolis council will debate a Gaza ceasefire resolution

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