CARRBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — By one vote, the Carrboro Town Council passed a resolution Tuesday night calling for an immediate de-escalation and cease-fire in Israel and Gaza.
The resolution was passed by a vote of 4-3, with Mayor Damon Seils and Council Members Sammy Slade (who proposed the resolution), Danny Nowell and Eliazar Posada in favor. Mayor Pro Tem Susan Romaine and Council Members Barbara Foushee and Randee Haven-O’Donnell opposed.
The Raleigh News and Observer reports that the town is the first municipality in North Carolina to call for a cease-fire. The vote came after nearly an hour of public comment and over half an hour of discussion among town council members.
Much like the council, members of the public spoke out on both sides.
Kathy Kaufman, who has immediate family in Israel, said calling for a cease-fire sent Israel a couple of messages.
“You’re telling Israel two things: You’re telling Israel not to go in and defeat Hamas but to leave Hamas in place, and you’re telling Israel that you don’t care about the 240 hostages that they do very much care about,” Kaufman said.
A.T., a member of the Jewish community who was born in a former Soviet state, had a different view.
“The State of Israel does not make me or my Jewish community any safer. The indiscriminate killing of over 11,000 Palestinian people by that state, including thousands of children, does not make any Jewish people anywhere safer,” A.T. said.
A.T.’s sentiment was shared by Mayor Seils.
“It is, in my opinion, necessary to have a cease-fire in order to save lives, but also in order to address what we know is a growing tide of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in our own communities here at home, which is only enflamed by continuing violence,” the Carrboro mayor said.
All three women on the council voted against the measure, voicing the feeling that passing it as a council was more divisive than unifying.
“At a time when the emotions feel so raw, when feelings are so conflicted, and when the history of this region is so complicated, I don’t believe we should be considering this resolution,” Mayor Pro Tem Romaine said. “It does not feel possible to speak with one voice right now as a council … I worry that a resolution would further divide us and make some of our community members not feel welcome here.”