Evanston Residents in Support of the Ceasefire Resolution
As members of the Evanston community, we are writing to express our support for the Ceasefire resolution proposed to the Evanston City Council. We demand that Evanston City Council endorse a ceasefire and an end to the incomprehensible violence in Palestine/Israel that they have tacitly ignored for the last 10 weeks. We are Evanstonians of all faiths and backgrounds who are dedicated to peace and justice for Palestinians, Israelis, and all people.
The violence that we have seen over the past two months is unfathomable. The loss of Israeli life on October 7th is devastating, particularly to members of our community who have loved ones in Israel. The subsequent Israeli bombardment of Gaza, in which nearly 28,000 people have been killed so far, reflects a wanton disregard for human life that we must condemn. International human rights organizations and UN officials have called Israel's actions in Gaza genocidal. If we cannot call for a ceasefire and an end to genocide, then we cannot call ourselves a progressive community. A Ceasefire resolution reflects a commitment to the value of all human life, from Evanston to Gaza.
As Evanstonians, we are proud to be members of a progressive and diverse community. Public conversations about Palestine/Israel, including the last Equity and Empowerment Commission meeting, did not reflect the values of community care, open-mindedness, and equality that Evanston prides itself on. These conversations have made clear that the way this issue is discussed has real impacts on how people of color are treated in our community. The only public statement the City of Evanston has made in response to the current violence in Palestine/Israel was to condemn violence perpetrated by Palestinians against Israelis. The City has been silent on the immense violence carried out by the State of Israel against Palestinian civilians. This sends a message that the lives of Israelis matter and the lives of Palestinians do not. A failure to call for a ceasefire and to condemn all loss of life in the region as unacceptable, does, in effect, contribute to existing inequities in Evanston, Illinois, the U.S., and around the world.
The Ceasefire Resolution has been reworked with input from Palestinian and Jewish community members to better reflect community consensus. The new resolution reflects the values of our community without silencing our condemnation of Israeli violence and righteous call for peace. We can and should take a stand against violence in all its forms.
The only moral and right action is to demand an end to the killing of children, women, and men from Gaza to the West Bank to Israel, and to value Palestinian lives as much as we value Israeli lives. Our government sends billions of dollars of military aid to Israel every year. What we say at this moment, as Americans, has a real impact. Municipalities around the nation have endorsed a ceasefire, and we must use our individual and collective voices to call on Evanston City Council to do the same.