San Francisco passes Gaza 'sustained ceasefire' resolution, the largest US city to make the move
San Francisco has joined a growing list of cities and municipalities in California and across the US to support a ceasefire in Gaza, making it the largest US city to pass such a resolution so far.
The Board of Supervisors voted on the resolution on Tuesday, 9 January, in an 8-3 vote, which called for a "sustained ceasefire in Gaza, humanitarian aid, release of hostages, and condemning antisemitic, anti-Palestinian, and Islamophobic rhetoric and attacks."
The supervisor board's president, Aaron Peskin, and fellow supervisors Connie Chan, Joel Engardio, Myrna Melgar, Dean Preston, Hillary Ronen, Ahsha Safai and Shamann Walton voted for the resolution. Supervisors Matt Dorsey, Rafael Mandelman and Catherine Stefani were opposed.
The resolution, first proposed on 5 December, reportedly underwent several revisions before the Board finally settled on the language of the text, though passing short of unanimous support as many advocates had hoped.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Peskin condensed the resolution to its most basic points.
"Let's turn this into a one-page resolution," Peskin said on the day of the vote, following a night of a head cold, he reportedly said.
The resolution calls for the following: a sustained ceasefire, lifesaving humanitarian aid to Gaza, and the release of all hostages, calling on Congress and US President Joe Biden's administration to do the same; the condemnation of antisemitic, anti-Palestinian, Islamophobic, xenophobic rhetoric and attacks; the condemnation of attacks on civilians by Hamas and by the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; and a resolution for a just and lasting peace holding all parties accountable.
The resolution's passage was reportedly met with roaring applause by those in attendance and impassioned responses by those who voted on it.
"As the only person on this board that was born in that part of the world, my life began with gunshots ringing outside every single night," said Iranian-born Supervisor Ahsha Safai, according to the Chronicle.
"I was born in a place where I heard gunfire outside my window. I did not see my father for the last 15 years of his life because the government would not let him leave. This resolution will allow some people to feel heard and seen for the first time," he said.
San Francisco's ceasefire resolution comes a day after healthcare workers staged a demonstration at City Hall in solidarity with their colleagues in Gaza.
The city's resolution, though still part of a minority in US cities and municipalities, appears to be in line with the position of the American public, around 68 per cent of whom support a resolution, according to a November poll by Reuters/Ipsos.