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Governor Pritzker criticizes City Hall’s Gaza ceasefire decision

Governor J.B. Pritzker on Thursday criticized the Gaza ceasefire resolution passed this week by Mayor Brandon Johnson and Chicago city council members for failing to hold Hamas accountable for the violence it commits.

Speaking to reporters after an event held at the South Shore Cultural Center to announce cooperation on anti-violence initiatives, Pritzker said the decision was as follows: It passed the council 23-22 on Wednesday, with Johnson casting the tie-breaking vote. – should have taken into account the atrocities committed by Hamas fighters, who killed approximately 1,200 Israelis and took approximately 240 hostage during the attack on October 7.

“I am disappointed that the women who were raped and kidnapped by Hamas fighters who crossed into Israel were not taken into account, and the deaths caused by these terrorists were not acknowledged,” Pritzker said.

While Hamas has denied committing sexual violence during the attack, the United Nations is investigating the allegations.

“And honestly, I don’t think the City Council is going to talk about the challenges of war in the Middle East, you have to make sure you include all perspectives. They didn’t do that,” said Pritzker, who is Jewish.

Some of those who opposed the vote on the ceasefire resolution expressed concern that both the council and Johnson’s stance on the war in Gaza could undermine America’s position on the situation or send the wrong message to President Joe Biden’s administration, particularly the Democratic National Party. The congress will be held in Chicago in August.

Pritzker dismissed those concerns.

“This is a non-binding decision that has barely been passed. “It was 50-50 on the City Council,” he said. “I don’t think it sends much of a message to the White House.”

Speaking before Pritzker’s speech at the same anti-violence event on Thursday, Johnson defended the council’s action on the ceasefire against criticism from some that he and city council members should have dealt with Chicago’s many problems rather than spending significant amounts of time fighting. A symbolic call for an end to the fighting in Gaza.

Mayor Brandon Johnson attends the Chicago CRED Community Violence Interruption 2024 held at the South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago on February 1, 2024. (Vincent Alban/Chicago Tribune)

“We can do both, we’ve done both,” Johnson said. “We have spoken out against this international crisis and continue to ensure that the people of Chicago still have the critical services they deserve. We are committed to our work to find solutions to homelessness. Everyone is still committed to our work to reduce shootings. It’s being done, and it’s reducing homicides.”

Johnson also pointed out that the council voted in October. pass a decision He was pushed by Ald. Debra Silverstein, 50, affirmed Israel’s “right and obligation to protect its citizens against terrorism and attacks by hostile foreign powers” ​​as Israel continues its bombardments of the Gaza Strip following an attack by Hamas fighters.

“And we continue to make sure that our city, as a global city, makes our voices heard on every issue, whether it’s calling out the ugly attack on the Israeli people, calling for a ceasefire, calling for the release of Palestinian hostages,” he said.

The council battle over the Gaza resolution dragged on for weeks; Supporters and opponents of the ceasefire language were trying to persuade their colleagues how to vote. Finally the pros and cons were locked at body 23, and Johnson cast the deciding vote to secure a majority.

This passage makes Chicago the largest American city to call for a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.

Pritzker and Johnson’s remarks came after they joined other officials to announce a joint effort to expand anti-violence efforts in Chicago to help at-risk youth. Philanthropic groups in the city have raised $66 million to support the expansion, BMO Harris officials said Thursday.

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