This past month, San Francisco became the largest city in the U.S. to enact a cease-fire resolution for Gaza, according to KQED. On Jan. 9, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted 8-3 to pass a resolution calling for a sustained cease-fire in Gaza. Some items the resolution also called for included: humanitarian aid to be sent to the region, the release of hostages, and the condemnation of antisemitic, anti-Palestinian and Islamophobic rhetoric and attacks.
Mayor London Breed condemned the resolution and refused to sign it. On Jan. 19, she released a statement addressing her refusal.
According to Breed, since the resolution’s passing, San Francisco “has been angrier, more divided, and less safe.” She did not go as far to veto the resolution, citing concerns that, if she did, “it would likely lead to yet more divisive, harmful hearings,” which would “fan even more antisemetic acts.”
Breed’s statement has sparked student conversation on the Hilltop. Sadiya Kazani, a senior history major, said, “I think Mayor London Breed’s description of what’s going on, and the protests as just division and hatred in San Francisco is not accurate at all.”
San Francisco has now joined cities like Detroit, Oakland, and Atlanta that have passed cease-fire resolutions. These resolutions are signs of support that are not legally binding.
“I know that cease-fire resolutions… don’t do too much in effect,” Kazani said. “But, I think they’re still pretty useful in showing the federal government that the people of the U.S. support cease-fire overall.”
Claire Mattingly, a junior history major with a Jewish-studies minor said, “It’s a disappointing choice that she made not to sign it.”
“I feel like there’s not even that much that a resolution in San Francisco can even achieve nationally, so it’s confusing to me why you wouldn’t just sign on,” Mattingly continued. “[The refusal] just feels so political, it doesn’t make sense to me.”
James Taylor, a USF politics professor, said, “Mayor London Breed recently rejected peace, even while she led the City’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr., a symbol of nonviolence and the Beloved Community. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ call for a cease-fire is symbolic. It has no sanction or teeth.”
In her statement, Breed denounced the decision of the board to introduce and pass the resolution. “The Board of Supervisors should never have put our city in this position,” according to Breed’s statement.
“We should be coming together, supporting each other, seeking the cohesion at home that we hope for abroad. The board has done the opposite, and I worry their irresponsibility will continue,” said Breed.
In her statement, she said that she was heartbroken, “for the people of Gaza, the victims of this war on all sides, and their relatives and friends around the world.”
The first version of the resolution was introduced on Dec. 5, 2023 by two Jewish members of the Board of Supervisors, Dean Preston and co-sponsor Supervisor Hillary Ronen.
“I am engaging very thoughtfully in a conflict fueled by my and my constituents’ tax dollars. And this conflict is deeply rooted in my personal life and my identity,” said Ronen. “The world must finally stand up and demand a lasting peace for Israel and Palestine.”
Despite the mayor’s refusal to sign the resolution, Preston told the San Francisco Chronicle he was happy about the lack of veto, and was proud that the Board of Supervisors were “officially on record for a cease-fire, humanitarian aid and the release of all hostages.”
According to Al Jazeera’s live Israel-Gaza war tracker as of Jan. 28, at least 26,422 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed, with another 65,087 or more injured. In Israel, approximately 1,139 people have died, and at least 8,730 have been injured.
To read a USF student’s op-ed response to Mayor London Breed’s condemnation, turn to page 9.
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