File #: 24-0230R    Name:
Type: Resolution Status: Failed
File created: 3/15/2024 In control: Recreation, Libraries and Authorities
On agenda: 3/25/2024 Final action: 3/25/2024
Sponsors: Azrin Awal, Wendy Durrwachter, Mike Mayou






                     WHEREAS, the Duluth city council works to ensure the safety, health, dignity, and freedom of people every day. To that end, we must speak to unify our city and not divide it;

                     WHEREAS, in this moment, we are concerned for the health and welfare of our Palestinian, Israeli, Muslim, and Jewish inhabitants, who are deeply hurting; 

                     WHEREAS, on October 7, 2023, attacks on Israel by Hamas and other armed groups resulted in more than 200 hostages being taken captive, and the deaths of more than 1,100 Israelis, including approximately 800 civilians;

                     WHEREAS, the Cabinet of Israel subsequently formally declared war against Hamas, and the Israeli defense minister ordered a “complete siege” on Gaza;

                     WHEREAS, since the war began, Gaza has been largely cut off from humanitarian aid such that Palestinian civilians and the Palestinian people are now facing a humanitarian catastrophe;

                     WHEREAS, Palestinians living in Gaza are being killed at an unprecedented rate. Over 30,000 Gazans - including at least 12,500 children - have been killed in the past five months. Over 300 medical workers and over 100 journalists have been killed. Proportional to population, the death toll in Gaza is the equivalent of about 3.1 million American deaths. In addition, over 70,000 Gazans are wounded, and over 7,000 are missing under the rubble;

                     WHEREAS, the current war between the state of Israel and Hamas marks the most significant escalation in decades, and continued escalation could result in a larger regional conflict with devastating consequences;

                     WHEREAS, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has found there to be credible evidence that the state of Israel may have committed acts of genocide, and has issued a binding legal order for Israel to cease certain specific acts, including taking all reasonable actions to prevent the killing of Palestinians and to take effective measures to enable the entrance of humanitarian aid to the Gaza strip;

                     WHEREAS, the killing of Palestinian and Israeli civilians, and the targeting of civilians, no matter their faith or ethnicity, is a violation of international humanitarian law;

                     WHEREAS, we recognize the right to self-determination and peaceful, safe futures for both the Israeli and Palestinian people, as well as our residents here in Duluth;

                     WHEREAS, the World Health Organization, United Nations, Save the Children, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, His Holiness Pope Francis, more than 120 countries, and countless other organizations in Minnesota and around the world have called for a ceasefire to end the violence and suffering in the Gaza Strip. Doctors Without Borders have advocated for, “a total ceasefire and the unconditional supply of humanitarian aid, including access to food, fuel, and water. The survival of people in Gaza depends on this”;

                     WHEREAS, we as local leaders are using our voice to stand firmly against the rise of and all acts of racially motivated violence and hate crimes perpetrated against our Jewish, Muslim, Palestinian, and Arab constituents here in Duluth and around the United States;

                     WHEREAS, the continued violence is impacting our Jewish and Palestinian neighbors here in Duluth where we are united in protecting our residents against acts of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and against hate crimes towards our Arab, Israeli, Jewish, and Muslim neighbors; and

                     WHEREAS, the city of Duluth has a longstanding history of sharing statements on issues happening throughout the world that impact our constituents here at home.  We follow the lead of 70 other localities in calling for a ceasefire because what happens internationally impacts our constituents locally. We believe in the shared humanity of all people and affirm it as a common value held by Duluth residents and leaders and in this moment, we are advocating to our State and Federal leaders to use their power to call for peace.

                     RESOLVED, that the Duluth city council supports our State and Federal delegations and the Biden Administration using their authority to:

1.                     Advance a full, immediate, and permanent ceasefire to protect and save human lives; and

2.                     We call upon the U.S. congress to act in accordance with constitutional law (i.e. the Leahy Laws) by imposing key guardrails on U.S. security assistance to the State of Israel that ensure military operations supported by U.S. tax dollars do not contribute to further civilian casualties and violations of international humanitarian laws; and

                     3.  Support the unhindered provision of goods to civilians throughout Gaza, which                                                are indispensable to their survival as international humanitarian law requires; and

                     4.  Ensure the unconditional release of all Israeli civilians held hostage by Hamas, and                                                Palestinian civilians being administratively held without charge or trial by the state of                                                     Israel.

                     FURTHER RESOLVED that the Duluth city council requests that the office of the Duluth city clerk provide a copy of this resolution to Duluth’s elected representatives to the Minnesota State Legislature and Minnesota’s elected representatives to the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate.


Statement of Purpose

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: The purpose of this resolution is to support a permanent ceasefire to prevent loss of human life in the Middle East and support the provision of humanitarian aid.