Minneapolis City Council to call for cease-fire in Israel-Hamas war

People stand behind a speaker at a podium
Minneapolis City Council Member Aisha Chughtai speaks Friday at the Minneapolis Public Service Center about the resolution calling for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war.
Feven Gerezgiher | MPR News

Several members of the Minneapolis City Council announced Friday a planned resolution in support of Palestinian human rights and an immediate, permanent cease-fire in the latest war between Israel and Hamas. 

The resolution, which has yet to be finalized or shared publicly, would urge Minnesota’s congressional delegation and President Joe Biden to advance a peace agenda. It also calls for an end to military aid to Israel and the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas, according to organizers.

This as the war nears its three-month mark, with Congress weighing a $14.5 billion military aid package for Israel.

Similar resolutions have passed in U.S. cities like Atlanta, Detroit, Oakland and Seattle. The Minneapolis City Council has previously passed resolutions opposing wars in Ukraine and Iran.

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Council Member Aisha Chughtai said she’s spoken to many Minneapolis residents who do not support the conflict.

“We want an end to our tax dollars being used to contribute to this humanitarian catastrophe and unspeakable loss of life,” said Chughtai, who co-authored the resolution with council members Robin Wonsley and Aurin Chowdhury.

More than a dozen community organizations joined the press conference at the Minneapolis Public Service Center in solidarity, including the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Jewish Voice for Peace and American Muslims for Palestine.

Several Jewish residents were among them.

“It causes me a lot of pain to see this war, excuse me, to see this genocide carried out in the name of my people and my safety,” said Walter Fromm, a field manager with Take Action Minnesota.

The council members plan to introduce the final resolution on Monday.

People stand near podium
Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman (second from right) with Temple Israel speaks at the Minneapolis Public Service Center on Friday against a city council resolution to call for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war. From left to right: Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC); Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Iola Kostrzewski.
Feven Gerezgiher | MPR News

At a later press conference on Friday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey described feeling blindsided by the proposed resolution, alleging he was only told about it the night prior. 

“Rather than talking with me as a mayor or me as a Jew, it was left to be discussed in a press conference just a few hours ago,” Frey said.

“If it was a Muslim mayor or a Black mayor or any other ethnicity, and the issue that was being addressed impacted them, they should be involved. They should at the very least know about it. Sadly, that was not the case here,” he added later.

Frey and Jewish leaders from the Jewish Community Relations Council and Temple Israel denounced the proposed resolution for promoting one side of events.

Frey said he would back alternative resolutions calling to support all civilians — Palestinian and Israeli — or for a two-state solution.

“It is not mutually exclusive to be both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine. You can be supportive of the State of Israel and simultaneously disagree adamantly with the administration that is running the government,” Frey said.

An organizer with CAIR-Minnesota said a majority of council members will likely vote in favor of the resolution.