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Activists Discuss Gaza Ceasefire At East Brunswick Council Meeting

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ — Activists from across New Jersey attended the East Brunswick Council meeting on Monday, demanding local officials to vote on the Gaza Ceasefire Resolution that was suggested in the previous meeting.

The Council, however, reiterated its previous position on the matter – it would not legislate international issues.

According to activists, the resolution is a way to apply pressure on State and Federal officials to do the same.

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“With regards to specific statements made by the Council during the meeting, I would like to re-emphasize that this is a global humanitarian issue, not a Jewish or Muslim issue,” Ateka Gunja, an East Brunswick resident said.

“We reject any notion that ‘half the people feel one way, half the people feel the other way’ as suggested by one of the Council members to me.”

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Another East Brunswick resident, Muhammad Saqeeb said the ceasefire helps “stops bombs.”

“It does not spread hate, deny access to basic needs, or cause greater suffering for those who mourn. Those who lost lives on October 7th don’t want to keep hearing bombs dropped every hour, a bomb or gunfire is still traumatic no matter which side does it.”

Some residents however were unhappy that the issue was brought up during a council meeting.

“I would like to thank the mayor for our garbage collection. And that’s what I thought these meetings were about. I’m kind of shocked at what’s going on here. Honestly, this is a PR event,” said resident Leslie Listwa.

“I’m just very, very upset that I live in this town and we’re wasting taxpayers’ money with the police, Emergency Management, and your time for a PR event. And believe me, it’s terrible that people are dying on both sides. But this is not supposed to be discussed here.”

Another resident told the council he was not in favor of local leaders taking a position in a war between Israel and Hamas.

“This is not the role of this council, or for that matter, any town council to take a position on this matter. The responsibility of US foreign policy lies in Washington DC, in the role of the US President, his administration and members of Congress. If the pro-Palestinian groups are truly seeking change, then their voices should be directed at our elected leaders in Washington,” said resident Mark Mellinger.

“I ask you to continue to do the responsible thing, and to not take a position on the war and to let our elected leaders in Washington do their job.”

After the public comment section, Council President Kevin McEvoy once again reiterated that local officials would not be taking up the Gaza ceasefire matter.

“I will say it one more time — our governing body deals with issues regarding the welfare of the township of East Brunswick, and we do not legislate international issues,” McEvoy said.

He noted that the Council’s position has not changed since the matter was first brought up on Dec. 16 and then later on Dec. 26.

Have a correction or news tip? Email sarah.salvadore@patch.com


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