More than 100 people protested outside the Chicago Tribune’s West Town office on Saturday afternoon, claiming that the paper’s editorial board was spreading anti-Palestinian propaganda in an editorial. criticize City Council and Mayor Brandon Johnson consider a resolution calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.
The Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine gathered in front of the Tribune’s Grand Avenue entrance. Organizers chanted that the editorial board and publication page editor Chris Jones should be ashamed and held accountable for “hateful words” that “sided with our oppressors.” During the protest, several dozen police officers stood outside the property’s gates and directed traffic.
The editorial was published the day after the incident, the US Palestine Community Network-Chicago said in a news release. deciding vote On January 31, he used “racist dog whistles” that “attacked the Palestinian rights movement.”
“Jones and his team’s editorial in the Chicago Tribune was truly disgusting,” USPCN-Chicago’s Nick Sous said in the statement. “This was even worse than what the Zionist Israelis used as propaganda to justify their genocide. “We reject this, reject the accusations of anti-Semitism and demand that Jones apologize to our movement and our mayor!”
The editorial stated that the vote, which made Chicago the largest American city to call for a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, was “a model of how not to manage the affairs of the city.” He criticized what he called “the unilateral decision that did not specify Hamas’s role in provoking this terrible situation” and Johnson’s maneuver to narrowly accept this decision. Johnson cast the tiebreaking vote after a 23-23 deadlock.
The editorial also said Johnson should have done more to prevent audience members from yelling at Ald. Debra Silverstein, 50th, is the council’s only Jewish member. silverstein said He said that his suggestions regarding the decision were not taken into account and that the Jews in the city did not feel safer.
“Mr. The mayor who encourages hatred against over 100,000 of your residents because of their religious or ethnic identity is unlikely to ‘lead with love’ as you say,” he said in the editorial.
The editorial board is separate from the Tribune’s news departments. It is prepared and edited by a team working independently of the newsroom.
Jones said in a statement that the newspaper’s opinion section published a variety of content, “much of which was sympathetic to the Palestinian cause,” and that he appreciated that some of the people protesting on Saturday wrote to thank them for it.
“In the case of this editorial, which largely reflects the position of both the governor and the Biden administration, we were writing in support of a city council member who wrote a fair and heartfelt compromise resolution that reflected a desire for less bloodshed in the Gaza Strip. “This also reflects the horrors inflicted on Israel by Hamas,” Jones said.
Governor J.B. Pritzker decision said He should have taken into account that Hamas fighters killed approximately 1,200 Israelis and took nearly 240 hostage on October 7. Israel declared war after this attack.
“Regardless, I was in the West Bank in September and met many Palestinians who share my perspective and understand the reasons for the protests,” Jones added.
Gaza Ministry of Health said Saturday It was stated that the bodies of 117 people killed in Israeli air strikes in the last 24 hours were taken to hospitals, and the number of deaths in the attack increased to 28 thousand 64, most of them women and children. More than 67,000 people were injured, the ministry said.
Israel blames Hamas for civilian deaths because it fights from civilian areas, but US officials have called for more surgical strikes. President Joe Biden this week said Israel’s response was “excessive.”
Israeli airstrikes killed at least 44 Palestinians in the southern Gaza city of Rafah on Saturday, just hours after Israel’s prime minister said he had asked the military to plan the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people. a ground attack.
The Associated Press contributed reporting.