Press release from the SFBA Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR):
The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today applauded the Santa Clara County Board of Education (SCCBOE) for its principled stand in passing a comprehensive Gaza ceasefire resolution.
The resolution, titled Resolution Recognizing Sustained Peace and Safety for All Children and championed by Board President Maimona Afzal Berta and Trustee Raeena Lari, “acknowledges the suffering of peoples in the Middle East, including Palestinian and Israeli children,” and emphasizes the SCCBOE’s dedication to creating a sense of belonging for all students, staff, and families. It reaffirms the board’s stance against anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and its commitment to respect and hear all communities, including Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Israeli-American, Arab-American, Palestinian-American, and other Middle Eastern groups.
On Jan. 29, in one of the largest public turnouts at a SCCBOE meeting, over 175 community members signed up to address the board as it considered the resolution. Ceasefire advocates of all ages and faith backgrounds urged the board to consider the local impact of the global crisis and to lead the way for the county’s children. Apparent pro-genocide advocates booed, heckled and threatened community members and spoke against the resolution.
The resolution is a response to the severe humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where the ongoing Israeli assault has led to extreme loss of life—over 30,000 people, the majority women and children; widespread displacement—over 80 percent of Gaza residents; and immense suffering, with famine and disease taking hold across the strip.
In a statement, CAIR-SFBA Executive Director Zahra Billoo said:
“The passing of this resolution is an important acknowledgment of the dire situation in Gaza, particularly as it relates to children, and reflects the collective conscience of our administrators, educators, and children at the SCCBOE. This resolution not only addresses the immediate need for safety and security in Palestine but also sets a powerful example for our students about the importance of advocating for peaceful solutions to complex global issues.”
With the adoption of this resolution, the SCCBOE joins Richmond, Oakland, Cudahy, Davis, Long Beach, New Haven Unified School District, and others across California that have previously passed ceasefire resolutions.