Ceasefire resolutions


The grassroots members of RI Coalition for Israel, Jews and Christian Zionists, have observed with increasing discomfort the creep of radical anti-Israel extremist rhetoric into Rhode Islands’s city and town institutions over the past several months. The thinking behind such extremism, cloaked though it is in the language of human rights, is a danger to true liberalism in America.

The latest such example we’re aware of is passage of a “ceasefire” resolution by the Providence City Council, and calls for similar resolutions elsewhere in the state, which in effect would give a pass to the war crimes that were unleashed against innocent Israeli civilians on Oct. 7, and which would endanger the long-term security of the only reliable US ally in the Middle East. (Curiously, it would actually subject the human shields, i.e. civilians in Gaza, to even more exploitation and brutality from Hamas.)

Our organization questions whether our City and Town Councils are the proper venue to discuss US foreign policy, and if so, wouldn’t it be discriminatory for them to entertain a resolution regarding the Hamas War on Israel while not also setting aside urgent town business for other equally pressing international human rights issues including the Chinese oppression of Uyghurs, the ongoing genocide of Nigerian Christians, Iran’s oppression of its minorities, the Ukraine-Russian war and others.

Otherwise, one might suspect a hint of antisemitism could underly such a singular obsession with Israel.

Any serious civic or governmental organization in order to be effective has to recognize and sparingly use its finite resources. Our city and town councils are no exception.

Council members should run, not walk, from the currently fashionable temptation to do otherwise, because it is a slippery slope without an end.

Howard Brown

North Kingstown, RI

The writer is executive director of the RI Coalition for Israel