Mr. Mayor, honorable council members, I am Jeffrey Field, a resident of Las Cruces residing at 2500 West Picacho. I’m here today to advocate for a ceasefire between Israel and Palestine, two nations that have been in conflict for decades. Beginning in the mid-20th century, it is one of the world’s longest continuing conflicts.
This struggle has caused immense suffering for both peoples. It is time, past time, for us to seek a peaceful solution, one, I believe, must begin with a cessation of hostilities. I am here today to request you, to urge you, to pass a resolution advocating for a ceasefire.
I am a veteran who lost two friends in the Vietnam war. I did not see battle there. Instead, I worked stateside with those soldiers whose wounds were of the body or of the mind. Many veterans, like myself, were reminded of the trauma of war this past Veterans Day.
“As I reflect on what’s going on today in the Middle East in particular, you know, my goal is to be able to celebrate Veterans Day and not add more to Memorial Day,” said Dennis Fritz, a retired command chief master sergeant in the Air Force.
That quote is from a story National Public Radio published Nov. 13. If you care to read it, the address is in the paper before you… https://www.npr.org/2023/11/11/1212429107/some-veterans-want-a-ceasefire-in-gaza
A ceasefire would not only bring immediate relief to those affected by the conflict, but it would also create an opportunity for diplomacy and dialogue. A ceasefire could be the first step towards a more stable and secure future for both Israel and Palestine. The international community has a role to play here as well, by supporting and facilitating dialogue between the parties. The time for a ceasefire is now, and I urge this council to support this effort.
This isn’t just about politicians or policies. This isn’t about political grandstanding or empty promises, it’s about real people with real lives. It’s about people who are suffering, people who are afraid, and people who deserve better.
Ceasefires are not new to this conflict. Four ceasefires were implemented in the years 2008, 2012, 2014, and 2021.
But the situation in Gaza is a desperate one, almost beyond human understanding. This is why much of the world’s people are on the streets demanding Ceasefire Now! By working together we can move forward to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, reduce the escalation of hostilities, and create space for dialogue and negotiation.
I’ll end here with a short poem which was written to remind us of our love for all the children of the world, no matter which country they reside.
and when their children were murdered,
screamed the same scream
cried the same tears
@Letters From A Mama
Thank you for your time, your attention, and your consideration.
The history of ceasefire resolutions between Israel and Gaza is complex and often marked by violence and violations. Here are some of the major events in chronological order:
· In 2008, Israel launched a military operation in Gaza, known as Operation Cast Lead, in response to rocket attacks by Hamas. After 22 days of fighting, both sides declared unilateral ceasefires, but clashes continued sporadically1.
· In 2012, Israel launched another military operation in Gaza, known as Operation Pillar of Defense, after an escalation of cross-border attacks. After eight days of fighting, Egypt brokered a ceasefire agreement that included easing the blockade on Gaza and ending hostilities2.
· In 2014, Israel launched a third military operation in Gaza, known as Operation Protective Edge, following the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas militants. The conflict lasted for 50 days and resulted in more than 2,000 deaths, mostly Palestinians. Several attempts to reach a ceasefire failed, until Egypt mediated a long-term truce that included opening border crossings, allowing humanitarian aid, and facilitating reconstruction in Gaza3.
· In 2021, Israel and Hamas engaged in another round of hostilities, sparked by tensions over Jerusalem and the planned eviction of Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah. The fighting lasted for 11 days and killed more than 250 people, mostly Palestinians. The UN, Egypt, Qatar, and the US were involved in diplomatic efforts to end the violence. A mutual and unconditional ceasefire was announced on May 20 and came into effect on May 21456