Tell Minneapolis City Council: Don’t inflame antisemitism
Updated Jan. 23, 2024
Your advocacy is making a difference. Instead of ramming through an inflammatory resolution at their first meeting yesterday, the new Minneapolis City Council referred the resolution (which demonizes Israel, calls for an end to U.S. aid to Israel, and a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war) to committee to allow for further deliberation and public input.
It is critical that Minneapolis residents continue engaging Minneapolis City Council Members using our updated advocacy template and by joining us at two upcoming City Council meetings — and encourage your friends and neighbors in Minneapolis to do the same.
As we feared, yesterday’s raucous, disgraceful meeting turned ugly fast, with antisemitism on full display. It shamefully included:
- Signs such as “Both sides are thirsty / Israel for blood / Gaza for water” and comparing Israelis to Nazis.
- Abusive shouting down of Council Member Linea Palmisano, who wisely spoke in favor of focusing on local issues, building empathy through education, and against inflaming antisemitism and Islamophobia.
- Council Member Robin Wonsley activated the crowd by falsely and repeatedly accusing Israel of genocide and comparing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to America’s legacy of slavery and racism against African Americans.
Your calls and emails are impactful. Thank you for continuing to use your voice to advocate for truth and decency.
We did not include a link to the draft resolution language in our previous advocacy alert since it was not yet made publicly available by the authors. The resolution introduced on Monday is now available here.
Update, Jan. 18 – the Minnesota Rabbinical Association has published a letter to Minneapolis City Council from 32 co-signatories. You can read it here, and draw further inspiration for your own advocacy on this issue.
Update, Jan. 23 – Minneapolis City Council doubled down on division while demonizing Israelis at today’s Committee of the Whole meeting. Appallingly, most Council Members demonstrated empathy for only one side of the conflict while ignoring the vast majority of their Jewish constituents. Please continue to engage your Council Members ahead of and at this Thursday’s City Council meeting.
Subject: Don’t inflame antisemitism in Minneapolis
The descent into uncivil uproar at the Minneapolis City Council meeting on Monday, January 8, was an embarrassment to our city.
The abusive shouting down of CM Linea Palmisano, antisemitic signage and rhetoric from attendees, and CM Robin Wonsley’s incendiary speech showed us all why the divisive Israel-Hamas war should not be subject to an action by the Council, much less a priority for your first few weeks.
[If applicable, share your priority issues for the City Council to address]
While nothing the Council does will impact the trajectory of the Middle East, advancing a divisive resolution that chooses which stories to honor and who to blame in the impossibly complex Israeli-Palestinian conflict will have harmful consequences for our local communities.
Despite these red flags, if the Council feels compelled to make a statement on the Israel-Hamas war, it is imperative that any language:
- Condemn the depravity of Hamas’ atrocities on October 7 — including the systematic murder, rape, and kidnapping of civilians — and its contributions to the catastrophe in Gaza.
- Unequivocally call for the release of all remaining hostages held captive in Gaza under inhumane conditions
- Affirm that Israelis and Palestinians are two distinct peoples indigenous to the same land who deserve dignity, safety, and sovereignty, and the diplomatic solution outlined by the framework “two states for two peoples” remains the best option for meeting the needs of Palestinians and Israelis alike
- Not call to end U.S. aid to Israel, which is an American democratic ally, home to half of the world’s Jews, and is threatened by the antisemitic, misogynist, homophobic regime in Iran and its proxies (Hamas, Hezbollah, and Houthis)
Any resolution that fails to meet these standards is not worthy of our city and should be opposed.
[Your address to show you are a constituent]