City, News

Boston City Council retracts proposition for cease-fire

By Kadence Diaz-Rodriguez

Boston City Council did not pass, nor discuss, a cease-fire resolution during Wednesday’s meeting, spurring questions as neighboring cities pass resolutions while Boston stays silent

Boston City Hall. Boston City Council withdrew a proposition for a cease-fire in Gaza, citing concerns over future division, during a meeting on Wednesday. SYDNEY ROTH/DFP PHOTOGRAPHER

Councilor Benjamin Weber offered the last resolution in the meeting to discuss a negotiated cease-fire in Gaza. Weber identified himself as a Jewish man who supported Israel’s right to exist and defend itself. 

“Being Jewish does not mean that I have to agree with everything that the Israeli government does,” Weber said. “I cannot ignore the pain and suffering of Palestinians in Gaza or Palestinian families living in Massachusetts who are watching the events in Gaza.” 

However, Weber then said he no longer wished to have the council debate the resolution to avoid further dividing people, and to have “further conversations.” 

“[Causing further division] is the opposite of what I hope to do,” Weber said. “So out of respect to my council colleagues and members of the Boston community, I withdraw this resolution today.” 

Weber said he met with individuals from both the Palestinian and Jewish Communities to try to “start a dialogue.”  

“I left those conversations more hopeful than when I began because I saw that there was a lot of common ground between us all,” Weber said. “I support a cease-fire because I believe in peace and because I believe that we, as a body, can recognize the suffering of both Israelis and Palestinians.”

Weber cited the “language” of his resolution as a cause for more division.

Although Weber withdrew his resolution, it addressed a topic that the City of Boston, unlike neighboring cities like Cambridge, Somerville, and Medford, has yet to come to a consensus about. 

The council did discuss updating emergency medical service zones to keep pace with the growing population the city has seen, urging for investment in essential city services and public safety support in order to do this. 

Councilor Ed Flynn highlighted Allston-Brighton as an area that has experienced significant growth with basic services that “haven’t kept up.”

The city council will meet virtually on Wednesday, Feb. 21, for a committee on public safety and criminal justice hearings. The next in person city council meeting will be Feb. 28

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