San Jose City Council to Israel and Hamas: Ceasefire, Help Gazans, Free Hostages

A unanimous statement from the Mayor and City Council of San Jose on the conflict in Gaza and Israel

It has been incredibly difficult to watch the events in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank unfold over the past few months. We are horrified and devastated by the loss of innocent lives in Israel and Gaza since October 7.

As leaders in the city of San Jose, one of the largest cities in the nation representing nearly a million residents, we strongly encourage the US government to implore Hamas and Israel to do all they can to work toward a cessation of hostilities, protect civilian lives, and facilitate the safe delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza residents. We also expect Hamas and Israel to release hostages and prisoners based on continued negotiations.

We strongly condemn actions that endanger innocent lives and undermine the prospects for peace. It is essential for responsible leadership to emerge, fostering an environment conducive to negotiations and rejecting any tactics that further escalate tensions and hinder the pursuit of a just and enduring peace.

Members of the community have been pushing for the City Council to pass a resolution on the conflict. San Jose City Council has an official policy dating back over 40 years not to take positions on matters of US foreign policy. It is our hope that expressing our deep care and respect for the worth and dignity of all people living in Israel and Palestine that we will create a basis upon which to unite our community.

We are witnessing historic levels of Islamophobia, antisemitism, and anti-Arab hate that are leaving our communities feeling increasingly unsafe and isolated – from college campuses and K-12 schools to our local religious organizations. Any attempt to hold a community collectively responsible for the conflict is bigotry – period.

We all have an obligation to unequivocally reject this hate. All of our communities’ safety and futures are inextricably linked – and this moment requires us to stand together and recommit to fighting hate in all of its forms.

Mayor Matt Mahan, Councilmembers Dev Davis, Rosemary Kamei, Bien Doan, Sergio Jimenez, Domingo Candelas, Omar Torres, Pam Foley, David Cohen, Arjun Batra, Peter Ortiz


  1. I guess this is an easy way to get some good “bipartisan” headlines. But you run the San Jose City government apparatus, and frankly that may be too much for yawl. How about you get San Jose to look less like a war zone and let the Palestinians and Israelis work this one out on their own. And backing your boy Biden, otherwise known as the Cat’s Paw of the House of Saud, and his bombing of the Houthis isn’t helping matters.

  2. What craven and mealy-mouthed claptrap, with false equivalencies. How disgraceful.

    Our City Council says: “We also expect Hamas and Israel to release hostages and prisoners . . .” WTF? Innocent women and children are being held hostage in Gaza, since October 7, 2023, suffering unspeakable treatment. And the City Council’s call for their release only happens now, more than three months later? And only conditioned on Israel releasing terrorists held prisoner? What an incredible false equivalency. Repulsive.

    Our City Council then says: “We are witnessing historic levels of Islamophobia, antisemitism, and anti-Arab hate that are leaving our communities feeling increasingly unsafe and isolated . . ..” Please give specific examples of Islamophobia and and anti-Arab hate here in San Jose since October 7, and if there are any why the Council did not denounce it immediately. What is undeniable and the City Council knows full well is that there is an unprecedented spate of antisemitism here in the Bay Area and across the country. I gave this City Council an example of vile anti-Semitism perpetrated against a former San Jose Earthquakes player who awoke to “Die Jew” on his porch in Almaden (the Mayor’s home district) a couple months ago. This City Council and Mayor Mahan have been silent about that despite my plea that they speak out publicly.

    This belated joint message drawing false equivalency between terrorists and innocent Jews is profoundly antisemitic.

  3. Many thanks to the mayor and city council members for expressing their compassion for the loss of innocent lives in Gaza and Israel. As our taxes fund Israeli bombing missions which have killed over 24,000 people in Gaza, it’s important that cities around our country speak out to stop these attacks and care for those whose food and water have been cut off. It’s important so the money is redirected for our needs in our own communities, and it’s important for the moral fabric of our society. As Martin Luther King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

  4. It would be nice if local journalists would ask the San Jose City Councilmembers precisely what specific instances of “Islamophobia, antisemitism, and anti-Arab hate” they claim to be “witnessing.”

    I provided by email to the City Council an instance of antisemitism (“Die Jew” on a porch in Almaden), so we know they are aware of that instance (and the proof of my report can be obtained in a public records request). Journalists might follow up to ask each of them why they didn’t immediately publicly denounce it, and what steps they did take, if any. (The Mayor’s neighborhood affairs staffer asked me for the details, which I provided, and said he would forward to the police, but I’ve heard nothing since; the District 10 office sent me an automated “ticket” number, but never substantively followed up.) Maybe a journalist could exercise their shoe-leather to follow up.

    Are there any other specific instances the City Council is alluding to? Any instances of Islamophobia in San Jose since October 7? Any instances anti-Arab hate? If so, why didn’t the Mayor and Councilmembers immediately publicly denounce it, and what steps they took as a result? Journalists should be asking these questions instead of acting as an unpaid PR shills for the City Council.

  5. When a resident wakes up to “Die Jew” on his porch in Almaden, that’s a “San Jose problem.”

  6. I strongly urge the city council to figure out how to mow the lawns in our parks on a regular basis and to keep our streets cleared of inoperable and illegal to operate vehicles.

  7. Honestly this both sides statement is pointless. Either take a stand or don’t. only one side is using our tax dollars to commit genocide. Instead of sending $18 billion to Israel (this year alone) to bomb sleeping kids in their pajamas, let’s keep that money here to support struggling americans.

  8. The comments here are (mostly) ridiculous. Those of you cherry-picking and equating racist graffiti with mass murder are, frankly, an embarrassment. That you’re advising city leaders to just focus on fixing San Jose while a literal genocide takes place exposes your lack of humanity. If the show were on the other foot you would be screaming for not only condemnation (do you condemn hamas???) but solidarity in the form of political, emotional, and of course financial support for israel. The war being waged in Gaza, the WB, and East Jerusalem is not a “war” but a massacre – a genocide, ethnic cleansing. And if this doesn’t get you riled up as much as some graffiti where no one was hurt, you may need to do a soul-check to ensure it’s still there.

  9. San Jose City and Santa Clara county need to stop paying the US Govt any tax payer funds as they’re cheating the Taxpayers by giving billions of dollars to Israel and together committing atrocities of killing children, seniors and others in Palestine. This is Genocide.
    US needs to stop these killings. The US and congress supporting this genocide are all
    Committing genocide.

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