|Today’s suggested actions to support Israel in your local community:
- Watch the recording of yesterday’s webinar: “Navigating Myths: Humanitarian Law & Urban Warfare in the Israel-Hamas War” with urban warfare expert Major John Spencer and expert in law of armed conflict Professor Geoffrey S. Corn.
- Meet with members of your city council to address one-sided resolutions that condemn Israel’s military operations in Gaza and divide the community.
- Read this article by law professor Arthur Van Coller analyzing the development and use of Qassam rockets by Hamas terrorists and explaining why every launch is a reprehensible war crime under international law.
- Follow Jewish Federations on Instagram at @jfederations for the latest resources with social posts, reels, videos, and talking points.
- Read and Share the story of 26-year-old Sergeant First Class Ahmad Abu Latif from the Bedouin town of Rahat who was killed in action this week in Gaza. A father to a baby girl, he is described as “a passionate fighter” who proudly served his country as a Muslim, Bedouin and Israeli and fought for coexistence between Jews and Arabs. He aspired to be a professor before his life was cut short.
Anti-Israel groups and allies are actively working to urge city councils around the country to pass resolutions calling for an unconditional ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas, which do not call for both the release of hostages and the dismantling of Hamas. In many cases, the resolutions are one-sided and contain highly inflammatory language that demonizes Israel and divides the community. While these resolutions generally have no direct legislative impact, they provide groups hostile to Israel the opportunity to deliver their messages to the public, influence the thinking of local elected officials, and create a momentum that could impact other decision-makers.
- Anti-Israel resolutions have been introduced or recommended in at least 100 jurisdictions across the United States and Canada. More than 60 cities have already passed resolutions calling for an unconditional ceasefire.
- Often, city council chambers are flooded with speakers and activists in favor of the resolutions, with meetings sometimes descending into chaos as pro-Palestinian advocates disrupt proceedings and shout down opponents of the resolution. At an Oakland, California city council meeting, an activist spoke on the floor to audience applause claiming, “There have not been beheadings of babies and rapings. Israel murdered their own people on October 7th.” Another activist said, “I support the right of Palestinians to resist occupation including through Hamas, the armed wing of the unified Palestinian resistance,” which was followed by another statement, “The notion that this was a massacre of Jews is a fabricated narrative.”
- A Boston city council resolution accused Israel of “collective punishment of the Palestinian people aided by billions in US taxpayer dollars” and the “targeting of civilians.” The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston mobilized the community to email the council and speak at the hearing to oppose the resolution. An action alert detailed objections to the resolution, including the inappropriateness of the city council to weigh in on foreign policy issues, and the resolution’s failure to unequivocally condemn Hamas for the atrocities of October 7. The resolution was defeated.
- Last week, hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists gathered at the Raleigh, North Carolina city council meeting calling for an immediate ceasefire that does not include demands to free the hostages or to dismantle Hamas. One activist who spoke from the podium called Israel “a racist, terrorist state that wants to murder all Palestinians.” Another speaker compared Prime Minister Netanyahu to Hitler.
- On Tuesday, the city of Minneapolis moved forward a resolution calling for a cease-fire in Israel and an end to United States military aid to Israel. In response, Ethan Roberts of the Jewish Community Relations Council for Minnesota and the Dakotas said, “Along with the vast majority of Jews in Minnesota, we don’t think it’s at all appropriate that the city council as one of its first items of business is taking up this incredibly divisive, antisemitic, inflammatory resolution that will do absolutely nothing to improve the lives of people in Israel or Gaza.”
- On Monday, the Burlington, Vermont City Council held a special meeting to determine if a vilifying anti-Israel petition will appear on the March 5 Town Meeting Day ballot. The one-sided petition contains highly inflammatory language, including, “WE PLEDGE to join others in working to end all support to Israel’s apartheid regime, settler colonialism, and military occupation.” After weeks of mobilization led by the Vermont network community lay leader, the ballot was defeated in the city council.
- For further examples of other communities’ responses as well as guidance including talking points and actions for addressing anti-Israel resolutions in your community, see our issue brief.
Last week, the Toledo, Ohio City Council tabled a one-sided resolution that called for a total and immediate ceasefire. The Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo successfully mobilized key lay leaders, individuals with connections to the council members, the mayor and the congresswoman to apply pressure to vote against the resolution that would divide the community and exacerbate antisemitic rhetoric. The Federation also issued an action alert that was sent to both Jewish partners and non-Jewish allied organizations. Finally, the Federation set up personal calls with council members to express their concerns over the resolution and to reframe the issue.
The Community Mobilization Center is monitoring major developments in Israel and North America related to Israel’s war against Hamas. The Community Mobilization Center will rapidly disseminate resources to help mobilize and support our local communities as they build and sustain civic and political support for Israel in this conflict. The work of the Community Mobilization Center will continue as long as it takes Israel to eradicate the terrorist threat and restore security to the country.