City of Brantford Council has approved a resolution supporting Israel during a Committee of the Whole, Planning and Administration meeting on Tuesday, October 10, 2023.
Councillor Dan McCreary brought the resolution forward calling the attack a “cowardly terrorist action, on a scale unseen since 9-11.”
The resolution sends the City’s condolences to victims on both sides of the attack and condemns the actions “of these cowardly terrorists and their state and non-state sponsors.”
It condemns the action of Canadian residents who publicly celebrated the terrorist attacks, and requests that the government of Canada should consider sending financial aid to the nation of Israel in order to replenish depleted stocks of defensive anti-missile systems.
And finally, the resolution urges the return of all hostages being held in Gaza, and that in solidarity with the nation of Israel, Brantford City Hall should be illuminated with the colours of the Israeli flag until the hostilities cease.
Speaking to the resolution, McCreary said that “it’s a tragedy for both sides of that border in that troubled land.”
“There can be no equivocation. Just as we debated the intimate partner violence resolution many days ago, there can be no excuse, no ‘however,’ and there can be no ‘buts,’” he said. “It’s a horrendous act and it has caused much death, and the retaliation will cause much more death. …Here in Canada, we tend to use the word ‘hate’ for little things, but this truly is hate, and it’s caused death and suffering.”
He went on to say that it was important for the people of Brantford to recognize that there are residents in the community who can trace their lineage back to both regions.
“It’s to the credit of those folks here, that there have been no displays as we’ve seen in Montreal and Toronto, which have celebrated the deaths of thousands of people on both sides of the border,” said McCreary.
Councillor Rose Sicoli wanted the people of Brantford to understand that Hamas is a terrorist group and shouldn’t be a reflection of all Palestinian people.
“They are not, and they should not be a reflection of the beautiful Palestinian people and our Palestinian community that we have here,” she said.
While members of council unanimously voted for the approval of each clause, Mayor Kevin Davis, and councillors Rose Sicoli and Brian VanTilborg voted against asking the government of Canada to consider sending financial aid to the nation of Israel to replenish depleted stocks of defensive anti-missile systems.
“I think generally, we’ve always been a two-state solution neutral player with regards to the conflict. I would rather see us provide some sort of aid other than military,” he said. “There’s the other side – the humanitarian side.”
Davis noted that he strongly condemns the “brutal terrorist attacks perpetuated by Hamas in targeting innocent civilians.”
“I extend my condolences to all of the innocent civilians regardless of whether they live in Palestine or Israel, whose lives have and will be lost by the senseless violence that is arising out of this terrorist attack and its aftermath,” he said. “It’s right to condemn acts that clearly are brutal, and savage and I stand by Israel and its right to defend itself and its citizens.”
He said it’s tragic that the long-term implication of this attack is “clearly to eviscerate any possibility of a peaceful resolution in the Middle East.”
The Mayor said that it may be some time until City Hall is illuminated with the Israeli flag colours as the system isn’t quite ready. He also noted his concerns about sending out financial aid for military uses.
“It may be that we don’t have the ability to provide defensive anti-missile systems and there may be more appropriate forms of financial aid.”
The resolution will come to council for final approval on Tuesday, October 24, 2023.