Ald. asks city council to delay Israel-Hamas ceasefire resolution to after Holocaust Remembrance Day

Craig Wall Image
Friday, January 19, 2024
Alderwoman asks council to delay ceasefire vote until after Holocaust Remembrance Day
Ald. Debra Silverstein asked the Chicago City Council to delay voting on an Israel-Hamas ceasefire resolution until after Holocaust Remembrance Day.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There is division in the Chicago City Council stemming from a resolution calling for a ceasefire that would be introduced in next week's meeting.

Ald. Debra Silverstein, the only Jewish member of the council, is concerned about the resolution because a vote next week would come just before Holocaust Remembrance Day.

"We're going to be introducing a resolution in memory of those that were lost in the Holocaust and on honor those that survived and I just feel like the timing is very bad," the 50th Ward alderwoman said.

The resolution's chief sponsor is 33rd Ward Alderwoman Rosanna Rodriguez Sanchez, who supports the Palestinian cause and the United Nations resolution calling for the end to hostilities.

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Silverstein and 27 other alderperson sent a letter to Rodriguez Sanchez asking her to delay action on her resolution until February. While she was unavailable for an interview Friday, she shared an email sent to colleagues in which she said she is "taking this request seriously." She also said she has made modifications to the resolution so that it now also calls for "the unconditional release of all hostages and humanitarian access."

"I don't like to see innocent people being killed the Palestinians or the Israelis," Silverstein said. "I would love to see an end to the fighting. But again, we need the hostages released and we need Hamas to surrender."

Mayor Brandon Johnson is staying out of the controversy, but his office said he will let council members handle the situation themselves, and that he trusts they will do so in a civil and respectful manner.