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Breed denounces Board of Supervisors’ Gaza cease-fire resolution

A woman with crossed arms stands out in a crowd of masked people.
Mayor London Breed criticized the Board of Supervisors' resolution calling for an end to violence in Gaza, saying it does not represent the position of the entire city. | Source: Juliana Yamada for The Standard

San Francisco Mayor London Breed released a statement Friday denouncing the Gaza cease-fire resolution passed by the Board of Supervisors earlier this week.

“Like my recent predecessors in this office, I almost never comment or take action on non-binding resolutions from the Board of Supervisors. This one warrants an exception,” Breed said in a statement, which was first reported by J. The Jewish News of Northern California. “What happened at the Board of Supervisors during this last month did not reflect our values. While I support the need for community members to be heard, the process at the board only inflamed division and hurt.”

The resolution—which was initially proposed by Supervisor Dean Preston in early December and revised by Board President Aaron Peskin—was approved Tuesday evening in an 8-3 vote during a contentious meeting. Since the resolution’s introduction, hundreds of demonstrators have made their presence felt during subsequent board meetings.

In addition to Preston and Peskin, Supervisors Connie Chan, Joel Engardio, Myrna Melgar, Hillary Ronen, Shamann Walton and Ahsha Safaí supported the resolution while Supervisors Catherine Stefani, Matt Dorsey and Rafael Mandelman opposed it, stating that it didn't adequately condemn sexual violence in the Oct. 7 attack, as detailed by a New York Times investigation. The trio also argued that the resolution didn't explicitly call for the removal of Hamas.

READ MORE: Demonstrators Gather at Port of Oakland To Oppose U.S. Aid in Israel-Hamas War

When asked about the mayor’s criticism of the resolution, Preston said that the Mayor’s Office had not raised the concerns in the weeks after he introduced the resolution.

“The resolution, which calls for a ceasefire, release of hostages and humanitarian aid in Gaza, was passed by a supermajority of the Board of Supervisors following outreach from tens of thousands of constituents,” Preston said in a statement. “Over the past month of negotiations prior to its passage, we haven’t heard any concerns from the mayor’s office.”

The mayor’s remarks come a day after the mayor of Haifa, San Francisco’s sister city in Israel since 1973, sent a letter to Breed condemning the board’s decision and urging a veto.

Breed, who revealed last year that she is part Jewish, went to Haifa in May 2023 to strengthen relations with the city. She also visited Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Haifa Mayor Einat Kalisch-Rotem wrote she was disappointed the resolution “critically targets Israel but glaringly omits to condemn the sexual violence against women by Hamas on Oct. 7,” according to Breed.

“It is imperative to address and denounce all forms of violence and human rights violations,” Kalisch-Rotem continued, adding that she has lost family as a result of the ongoing conflict. “As sister cities, our joint commitment should be towards promoting peace, justice, and equality for all.”

Breed said that she plans to meet with Kalisch-Rotem via Zoom to explain what happened with the resolution and add that the resolution is not the “official view of the entire city of San Francisco.

“While they are entitled to their position, our city is broader than their position,” Breed said. “My hope is that, as we move forward, the public recognizes that the one body does not reflect an entire city.”

Joel Umanzor can be reached at jumanzor@sfstandard.com