Less than a week after it was passed, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey vetoed the City Council’s resolution calling for a permanent ceasefire in Israel and Gaza on Wednesday afternoon.
In the veto letter, Frey wrote that he spoke with many of the council members before the Jan. 23 committee of the whole meeting where the final language was hashed out and amendments voted on, and that he expressed support for a ceasefire resolution. But he also “relayed deep concerns about addressing a constantly evolving situation through one-sided language.”
“My feedback was not included in the resolution brought to committee nor in the resolution that passed the full council,” he said. “As the only elected Jew for the city, that is disheartening.”
The veto may only serve to be a ceremonial statement that delays the inevitable. It takes nine votes to overturn the veto, and the resolution was passed on Jan. 25 by a 9-3 margin with one abstention. The City Council is expected to take up the vote on its next meeting on Feb. 1.
Echoing a statement Frey made during the Jan. 25 city council meeting he wrote in the letter: “The resolution you approved uplifts the history of Palestinians, and all but erases that of Israeli Jews. Including some people’s history as valid, truthful, and righteous as it may be, while ignoring others, is neither progressive nor inclusive. That’s not in keeping with the Minneapolis I know and love.”
The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas said in a statement that it supported Frey’s veto.
“We support the Mayor in his call for a resolution that will bring the city together behind a unifying message of ceasefire, return of all Israeli hostages held by Hamas, support for a two-state solution, and humanitarian aid to Gazans,” the JCRC statement said.
City Council President Elliott Payne, who was a co-author of the resolution, did not respond to a message seeking comment.
Frey was critical of council members have given public statements in front of signs reading “U.S.A. is occupied by Zionist more than Palestine,” which he said is based on a centuries-old trope, and that Jews simply advocating for peace and a two-state solution have been accused of having blood on their hands.
“I too have personally felt the rise of antisemitism in the city I love,” he said. “I’m not alone in my concern, and it’s important that Jews throughout Minneapolis and the metro don’t feel alone.”
Frey pointed out that both antisemitic and Islamophobic complaints have risen nearly 400 percent and 216 percent, respectively, nationwide since Hamas, the Iran-backed terror group that controls Gaza, attacked Israel on Oct. 7. Hamas killed more than 1,200 and took around 250 hostages. An estimated 100 hostages are still being held.
In the three-and-a-half months since, Israel has been launching attacks against Hamas in Gaza. Officials from Israel, Egypt, Qatar, and the United States have been negotiating a ceasefire for the past week.
“International relations are complex – multi-layered and multi-faceted,” Frey wrote. “The history underpinning the conflict the world is witnessing demands a rigorous and honest examination of the history of Jewish and Palestinian people. The resolution you approved does not.”