Long Beach Approves Proclamation Supporting Gaza Ceasefire

Long Beach Approves Proclamation Supporting Gaza Ceasefire

The City Hall in Long Beach, Calif., on Dec. 13, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

City News Service

City News Service

12/20/2023

Updated: 12/20/2023

0

LONG BEACH, Calif.—The Long Beach City Council Dec. 19 evening passed a proclamation supporting a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, becoming the latest California city to either pass or consider making such a statement.
The council voted 5–2 in favor of the proclamation following a nearly 3 1/2-hour public comment period where almost 200 people addressed the council, according to the Press-Telegram.
Councilors Kristina Duggan and Daryl Supernaw voted no.
“I wasn’t elected to weigh in on foreign affairs,” Ms. Duggan told the Press-Telegram, adding that she opposed the “scorched-Earth advocacy” of some of the proclamation’s supporters. “We shouldn’t be spending time and resources on it. We should be focusing on things within our control.”
Mayor Rex Richardson issued a statement saying, “Right now, there is a pain in Gaza and Israel that is reverberating here in Long Beach. As local leaders, we have a responsibility to challenge the growing incidents of hate and intolerance happening in our region and across the country by affirming our longstanding values of peace, social justice, equity, and safety.”
The proclamation introduced by Councilors Joni Ricks-Oddie, Roberto Uranga, and Al Austin declares, “The city of Long Beach stands firmly on the foundation of peace, unity, respect, and understanding,
“The City Council recognizes that Palestinian lives and Israeli lives have the same value, and that all human life is precious. The City Council acknowledges the current humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and has condemned the attacks on Israel. Palestinian people deserve self-determination. Israel has a right to defend itself. Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve dignity, security, and to live without harm.
“The City Council calls on our federal leaders to support negotiations that lead to a lasting humanitarian ceasefire in Israel and Gaza, the release of all hostages, the safe passage of food, water, medical supplies, and other life-saving humanitarian aid into Gaza, and a peaceful resolution that achieves both an end to the attacks on Israel by Hamas, and the protection of civilian life in Gaza and Israel.”
Long Beach Community United for Peace, a group billing itself as consisting of “Palestinians, Muslims, Arabs, American Jews and allies,” circulated a petition that received some 2,000 signatures, urging the council to stand in favor of a ceasefire. The matter received support from the city’s Equity and Human Relations Commission before landing on Tuesday night’s council agenda.
The commission also recommended that Mr. Richardson and the council “identify and support local programs and services that de-escalate Islamophobia and antisemitism; foster community relations, dialogues centering Palestinian and Jewish voices, and mental health for residents affected by the conflict.”
Tuesday’s council session also follows a Nov. 14 statement by the city “affirming the city’s values of unity, respect, and understanding in light of the significant loss of Palestinian and Israeli lives, and condemning the increasing reports of antisemitic, Islamophobic, anti-Jewish and anti-Arab incidents that have occurred since (the Hamas attacks) October 7th.”
The mayor issued a statement Nov. 28 “reiterating calls for a permanent ceasefire, the safe return of all hostages, and lasting peace in the region,” according to the proposed proclamation.
The proclamation includes a request to city staff to identify and promote community education resources and services to support residents and community members affected by the ongoing conflict, including counseling and mental health services and support groups led by cultural and religious organizations.
Other California cities that have approved or are considering similar statements include Santa Ana, Oakland, San Francisco, and Sacramento, along with, nationally, cities including Seattle, Detroit, Atlanta, and Providence, Rhode Island.
Copy
facebooktwitterlinkedintelegram
City News Service

City News Service

Author

Breaking news gathering service based in West Sacramento, California, USA Gathering and distributing breaking news content via video, photographic and audio

Author's Selected Articles
California Insider
Sign up here for our email newsletter!
©2024 California Insider All Rights Reserved. California Insider is a part of Epoch Media Group.