April 9, 2024

Tucson City Council not ready to call for Gaza ceasefire

Councilmembers held a study session discussion on a potential ceasefire resolution on Tuesday.

360 tucson chambers city hall City of Tucson's council chambers in downtown.
AZPM Staff

The Tucson City Council is not ready to form a united stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict after months of calls from the community for the council to take action.

Councilmember Lane Santa Cruz encouraged the council to take up the matter of a ceasefire resolution, citing the number of calls to the audience about the conflict since December of last year.

At Tuesday’s study session, Councilmember Paul Cunningham, who is Jewish, choked up when he talked about the conflict.

“Every single part of me wants a peaceful Israel. But I'm also really disappointed in Israel right now,” he said.

But Cunningham agreed with three other council members that the council should not take a stance until there’s more unity here at home between Palestinian and Israeli groups.

“Until we get some type of unified platitude for Tucson, then we're not representing Tucson. And we're not unified right now. We are totally apart,” he said.

Over 70 cities across the country have drafted ceasefire resolutions, although they’re largely symbolic. South Tucson became the first city in Arizona to pass a similar resolution last month.

Councilmember Nikki Lee also hesitated to take a stance, echoing the same lack of consensus.

“What I am concerned about is the lack of a unified voice in this community. I don't personally believe that we should try to come up with a single position or statement that attempts to speak for all of us as Mayor and Council, because of our own individual differences and thoughts on this matter,” she said.

Mayor Regina Romero said the council is not ready to act yet, and instead deferred the issue to federal and congressional leadership.

“The nuances of writing a resolution, I don't think we can get there right now. But I do plan to write to President Biden, Vice President Harris, to our congressional delegation, they need to know that Tucsonans are hurting, that we're concerned and that we want a resolution to the conflict,” she said.

With Councilmember Santa Cruz as the only vote in favor, the council will not move forward with a ceasefire resolution.

MORE: News, Tucson
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