Photo Credit: Google Maps
Cincinnati City Hall

On Wednesday, the Cincinnati City Council opted not to draft a resolution urging a ceasefire in Gaza, citing concerns that none of the proposed versions adequately addressed the diverse perspectives of the city’s Arab and Jewish communities, the Ohio Capital-Journal reported Friday morning.

Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval, who is the child of immigrants from India and Tibet, explained that the city fathers decided to abandon the idea because, “Members of this council and myself have heard from the residents who’ve come before us, and have worked with Jewish and Palestinian local leaders to draft consensus language around a resolution that would speak a unified voice in Cincinnati.” But no consensus could be reached on what he described as “an issue that is among the most nuanced and complicated in international affairs.”


The council’s meeting began at 1:30 PM on Wednesday, and public comment on a resolution continued for four hours, with hundreds lining up to speak for or against a resolution on a Gaza ceasefire.

Those against the resolution were rabbis and other representatives from the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. Supporters of the resolution included students, members of the Arab-American community, pastors, and socialist activists.

Danielle Minson, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, spoke against the resolution, saying, “Both our Jewish and Palestinian communities are hurting deeply because of the Israel-Hamas conflict,” but cautioned that “if our city council takes a stand on advocating for a ceasefire, it will widen the gap between our Jewish and Palestinian communities here in Cincinnati.”

Margaret Meyer, a Reform clergy, said she was “frightened and worried,” since “For the past few years, antisemitism, racism, Islamophobia, and other hatreds have grown in our community. Since Oct. 7, we Jews have been the victims of violent antisemitism in schools, synagogues, even on the streets. We all need desperately to come together, listen to each other, and work with one another here in our community. And you, our leaders, need to be the ones to bring us together.”

Justin Kirschner, Regional Director of the American Jewish Committee, objected to the ceasefire resolution and described world Jewry are living in a permanent state of PTSD following millennia of hatred and persecution. “Whether it be Lenin, Hamas, or Hitler, you’re witnessing the beginning of the same old story unfold in a new age. Rather than succumbing to hate and fighting among ourselves, let us begin a dialogue infused with love and kindness,” Kirschner said.

Amber Wood, a Jewish woman representing the Cincinnati Socialists, told the council, “To my fellow Jews and Americans here today who have found in themselves only hate and bigotry, by refusing solidarity with Palestinians, by refusing to act to stop an ethno-nationalist genocide… you put us in danger. By conflating Judaism with the state of Israel, 30,000 martyred Palestinians, civilians starving, civilians who can never go home, you bring a tremendous shame on the Jewish people in front of the whole world.”

She must have been asleep on October 7, but someone should have explained to her the reason why there were all those “martyred Palestinians” all of a sudden.

Dayton, Akron, and Toledo, all Ohio cities with large Arab populations, have unanimously issued a ceasefire resolution in December 2023. Columbus is still debating the issue, and Cleveland, like Cincinnati, couldn’t get a resolution passed, according to the Ohio Capital-Journal.


Previous articleThree Types of Tzedaka – Parshat Teruma
Next articlee-Edition: February 16, 2024
David writes news at