Residents & activists call on Hoboken City Council to approve a ceasefire resolution


Residents and activists called for a ceasefire resolution at last night’s Hoboken City Council meeting, a two-and-a-half hour session that was otherwise mostly uneventful with the cannabis measures and e-bike delivery licensing ordinance being pulled.

Screenshot via Facebook Live.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Not everyone who addressed the local governing body was in favor of a ceasefire resolution being introduced and approved.

“Council, ladies and gentlemen, I rise because I’m aware that the same mostly out-of-town Hamas supporters who protested in front of City Hall last week yelling ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will come to be,’ an explicitly genocidal call for the destruction of Israel,” Joshua Einstein said during public comment, which lasted for nearly two hours overall.

“This same people, similar, if not the same as, the people in the 20-car car parade that took place on Saturday night, October 7th, the night of the attack in which 1,200 Israeli mostly civilians were butchered, those car parading people were waving their Palestinian  flags and yelling ‘f the Jews’ and ‘f Israel’ as they drove down Washington Street …”

There were a few speakers who agreed with Einstein and were adamantly against a ceasefire resolution, which has not been particularly common in New Jersey, though in neighboring Union City, their board of commissioners approved one earlier this month.

Still, the majority who spoke, such as Meera Jaffrey, of the Ceasefire Now New Jersey group and a Jersey City resident, had a different point of view and explained why she wanted the governing body to adopt a ceasefire resolution.

“When a Hoboken resident and I met with Mayor [Ravi] Bhalla to urge him to support a ceasefire resolution, he said that he only dealt with local issues. I reminded him that my Hoboken choir was asked by the City of Hoboken to sing a couple of years ago at a Hoboken event in support of Ukraine,” she recalled.

“I reminded him that City Hall chose to raise the Israeli flag three times in the past few months to show solidarity with Israel. This gesture emboldens the oppressor, Israel, and sends a clear message that the feeling of the oppressed, the Palestinians, don’t count.”

She also expressed that she feels anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism, despite claims to the contrary.

Kirsten Haman, a 22-year resident of the Mile Square City, said that she does not accept killing children by the thousands as U.S. foreign policy.

“And we ask that you do not accept that either. According to a Reuters Ipsos poll back in November, three quarters of Democrats and half of Republicans supported a ceasefire. I can only assume that these numbers have grown … We want a ceasefire now and we want you, our elected officials, to make that official.”

Several others noted that other progressive cities such as San Francisco, Atlanta, and Paterson have adopted ceasefire resolutions and are of the belief that Hoboken should follow suit.

Additionally, Jesse Gong said that the conflict in the Middle East is impacting the day to day lives of Hoboken residents and the council should be cognizant of that.

“Whether we like it or not, the issue is in our town discourse now, so I want to talk about that here. Right now, who is making who feel unsafe here? Who is threatening whom? We know that businesses in town have been threatened for showing sympathy for Palestinians,” she noted.

“We know that people in town have been threatened by others simply for simply expressing a desire for a ceasefire. Speaking for myself, just last week, outside of this very building right here, there were men wearing full on ski masks who came up to me yelling in my face, calling me a terrorist. And later that night as I was walking up Washington Street with a couple of my friends came up to us and accused us of kidnapping children, obviously in bad faith, but that’s what they’re feeling emboldened to do right now.”

Stephen Marlow, of New Jersey Peace Action and a longtime Hoboken resident, pointed out that 71 municipalities across the country had approved ceasefire resolutions to date and his local representatives should do the same.

The always unpredictable Ed Reep gave a take that was unlike any other from Wednesday evening’s public session.

“I’m gonna tell you something that the most famous Jewish person in history said, his name was Jesus, and he said ‘love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’ and your enemy could be someone who wants to kill you and destroy you and murder you,” he explained.

“Your enemy could be someone who wants to bomb you. Or your enemy could be someone who wants to come up shoot you while you’re at a concert. Now the truth about this whole thing going on in Israel and Gaza is this: Hamas is an organization that is violent and awful and you can’t have a ceasefire until you get rid of that organization.”

The council did not respond to any of the speakers and took no formal action on the matter.

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  1. “Now the truth about this whole thing going on in Israel and Gaza is this: Hamas is an organization that is violent and awful and you can’t have a ceasefire until you get rid of that organization.” – Ed Reep

    #AmIsraelChai 🇮🇱✡️

  2. Why is Ravi siding with the privileged white Israelis over the oppressed brown people?
    Why Ravi, why?

    No, I don’t believe in that but I just wanted to sound like a good commie prog Democrat and enjoy more of this anti-American ideology coming home to roost.

  3. “… I met with Mayor [Ravi] Bhalla to urge him to support a ceasefire resolution, he said that he only dealt with local issues.”
    What a crock of you-know-what! In the past month alone, Ravi has tweeted about national gun violence, border security, student loan forgiveness and a woman’s right to choose. His reluctance to take a position on this issue is directly related to his run for congress. Ravi does what is politically advantageous for his career, not necessarily what is right or good.