Naperville council members break silence; no vote on cease-fire resolution

A group of residents this week continued to press Naperville council members to pass a resolution backing a cease-fire in Gaza.

And once again, the residents left a city council meeting empty-handed.

“Cowards,” some residents shouted to council members at the close of Tuesday’s meeting. Others vowed to return to the next council meeting to push for the resolution again.

Though the council took no action and gave no indication a cease-fire resolution would be on the next city council agenda, some council members spoke up for the first time to offer support to residents.

“I think it’s important to acknowledge the stories we have heard because they are heartbreaking,” Councilman Patrick Kelly said.

Councilman Kelly was among four council members who spoke after public comment at Tuesday’s meeting. Councilwoman Allison Logenbaugh and councilmen Benny White and Nate Wilson also offered a few words for residents.

At four previous meetings, which have drawn large crowds, council members have said nothing regarding lengthy public comment sessions pushing for a cease-fire resolution.

“What is going on is a humanitarian crisis,” Logenbaugh said of the conflict in Gaza, adding that she has called her federal representatives to push for a resolution to the conflict and humanitarian aid. “It’s at their level where this should be discussed and where it should be solved.”

Councilman Ian Holzhauer expressed support for religious diversity in Naperville but said he would not vote on an issue that belongs at the federal level. He added that he continues to “support and pray” for federal efforts to secure peace.

Pro-Palestinian groups were hopeful Tuesday’s meeting would at least result in a cease-fire resolution being placed on a future agenda for discussion and a vote. Many of the more than 50 people who spoke at Tuesday’s meeting said support from the council would help send a message to Congress.

Several members of Beth Shalom, a Jewish congregation in Naperville, offered an opposing view, telling council members support for a cease-fire resolution would be an insult to them, noting the Hamas attack on Israel that launched the conflict.

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