The Boston City Council Gets It Wrong On Gaza

Boston City Hall with flags flying

I’ve lived in the City of Boston for more than twenty years. I love Boston. I do not always love Boston’s City Council. That’s especially true today. Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson, whose prior antisemitic comments I am not going to detail here, offered a really unfortunate resolution on the Gaza war, and the City Council, for reasons I find difficult to understand, passed it by a wide margin.

What is wrong with the resolution?

First, it calls for a permanent ceasefire. Well, what’s wrong with that? Here is what President Biden had to say about it:

As long as Hamas clings to its ideology of destruction, a cease-fire is not peace. To Hamas’s members, every cease-fire is time they exploit to rebuild their stockpile of rockets, reposition fighters and restart the killing by attacking innocents again. An outcome that leaves Hamas in control of Gaza would once more perpetuate its hate and deny Palestinian civilians the chance to build something better for themselves.

I think that sentiment is exactly right. After all, that’s what happened the last time there was a ceasefire, a ceasefire that Hamas broke on October 7. It would be terrible for the war to end with Hamas still in control of Gaza, since that is just a recipe for another war. Why do I say that? Because I believe Hamas means what it says. Here is Ghazi Hamad, a senior member of the terrorist group, speaking weeks after the massacre:

Israel is a country that has no place on our land. We must remove it because it constitutes a security, military and political catastrophe to the Arab and Islamic nation. We are not ashamed to say this.

We must teach Israel a lesson, and we will do it twice and three times. The Al-Aqsa Deluge is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth. Will we have to pay a price? Yes, and we are ready to pay it. We are called a nation of martyrs, and we are proud to sacrifice martyrs.

We are the victims of the occupation. Period. Therefore, nobody should blame us for the things we do. On October 7, October 10, October one-millionth, everything we do is justified.

Second, the resolution does call for the release of hostages, but it does not link that to the ceasefire. More than a hundred Israelis and others, including several Americans, are still being held in Gaza. Hamas is releasing propaganda videos featuring the hostages as a kind of cruel psychological warfare. Why could anyone expect Israel to stop fighting while its citizens are still being held against their will?

Third, there could be a cease-fire tomorrow if Hamas would accept the Israeli cease-fire offer on the table, which the Secretary of State described as “extraordinarily generous.” But it’s hard to blame Hamas for its stubbornness. Why should it agree to anything, when it can count on the Boston City Council and others to put pressure on Israel and help it turn defeat into victory?

There is a lot else that is wrong with the resolution, but these three things are enough. What on earth was the Council thinking? The resolution is an embarassment that the councilors will come to regret.

Image Credit: Daderot (CC0)

One response to “The Boston City Council Gets It Wrong On Gaza”

  1. […] not so simple. The resolution comes just more than a week after the resolution that I and others criticized for its naive and simplistic solution to the war in Gaza. Perhaps in order to respond to those […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thank you for commenting! By submitting a comment, you agree that we can retain your name, your email address, your IP address, and the text of your comment, in order to publish your name and comment on Letters Blogatory, to allow our antispam software to operate, and to ensure compliance with our rules against impersonating other commenters.