CHICAGO (WLS) -- Some of Chicago's Jewish leaders took out a full page ad in Sunday's newspaper strongly denouncing Mayor Brandon Johnson's handling of the city council's Gaza cease-fire resolution, and his tiebreaking vote to get the symbolic measure passed.
"He angered the real mainstream part of the Jewish community," said Daniel Goldwin of the Jewish United Fund.
In its letter, the Jewish United Fund, or JUF, said it is not only "appalled" that Johnson helped pass what Jewish groups called a one-sided resolution, but they took aim at the way the mayor handled the meeting, which they said fanned the flames of antisemitism.
"We had antisemitic threats, we had people denying what happened on October 7th, a member of community got up to speak she was heckled, Ald. Silverstein was heckled, and no one came to their defense," Goldwin said.
Ald. Deborah Silverstein, the council's only Jewish member, and the JUF unsuccessfully tried to add language to the resolution that would satisfy supporters of Israel and Palestine. Since the cease-fire resolution passed and made national headlines, Silverstein said she has received wide support.
"I've gotten calls from Israel, I've gotten calls from around the world full of support and love," she said.
The Sunday letter also said Jewish groups are horrified Johnson support student walkouts where chants of "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free were heard."
"Let's be real clear from the River to the sea Palestine will be free has a very simple meaning: Eliminate the state of Israel," Goldwin said.
Supporters of the resolution deny fanning the flames of antisemitism and being anti-Israel. Some political observers are surprised Johnson would risk alienating a voting bloc and political capital for a symbolic gesture, especially since he talks about being the collaborative mayor.
"Jewish voters are a significant part of his constituency, but politically he is more worried about progressive left part of his base and he wanted to satisfy them with this vote," said ABC7 Political Analyst Laura Washington.
In March, voters will decide on Johnson's transfer tax referendum, known as Bring Chicago Home. Johnson is relying on his progressive support to get it passed.
The mayor's office had no comment on the Jewish United Fund letter.