Assemblywoman Sadaf Jaffer (LD-16) introduced a resolution (AR196) calling for a ceasefire in Israel, Gaza, and West Bank.
If passed, this resolution would build on the growing and urgent calls from across the nation for a ceasefire in Israel and Palestine. The goal of this resolution is to advocate for the release of all hostages and the provision of critical humanitarian aid so that all parties can work toward peace in the region.
“The number of lives lost in this conflict is overwhelming. As a parent, witnessing the deaths of thousands of children is too much to bear,” said Assemblywoman Jaffer. “I’m proud to introduce this resolution calling for a ceasefire, which will save lives and allow for much-needed humanitarian aid to help innocent civilians.”
Assemblywoman Jaffer is joined by Assemblyman Reginald Atkins (LD-20) and Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter (LD-35) as second and third prime sponsors, respectively.
“Peace is not just the absence of war, but the presence of understanding, respect, and compassion,” said Assemblyman Atkins. “Supporting a ceasefire in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank is not just about ending conflict, but about creating a space for dialogue, healing, and a future where all people can thrive in peace.”
“In the name of progress and justice; it is essential that we be courageous at such a time as this and call for an immediate ceasefire and the delivery of critical humanitarian aid,” said Assemblywoman Sumter. “Our actions should reflect the immediate needs of safety, medical and food supplies to individuals. We have a moral obligation to fight for peace to ensure vulnerable populations such as women, children and families remain protected.”
This resolution underscores that the conflict in Israel and Palestine is impacting constituents in New Jersey, and that New Jersey’s federal representatives must be responsive to their constituents calling for a ceasefire.
Assemblywoman Jaffer felt compelled to introduce this legislation after hearing the personal testimonies of New Jersey families impacted by the violence. For example, Franklin Board of Education Member Sami Shaban has had 18 family members killed in the recent bombings of Gaza.
“It took four days for my Uncle’s family to be excavated. When they did finally take them out of the rubble, they could only pull them out in small burnt chunks. They couldn’t tell who was who, especially the children. They had to lump them together,” Shaban said, recalling the tragic way his family was killed in Gaza. “I appreciate Assemblywoman Jaffer for introducing this resolution.”
Support for the resolution is shared by advocacy groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace – Northern New Jersey (JVPNN) and the Palestinian American Community Center (PACC).
“Assemblywoman Jaffer’s resolution plays a vital role in making sure that the voices of her constituents, who have been on the streets demanding a permanent ceasefire, are heard by New Jersey’s congressional delegation,” said Renée Steinhagen, member of Jewish Voice for Peace-Northern New Jersey. “As an American Jew, I am especially grateful for her efforts.”
“The indiscriminate targeting of innocent civilians is an appalling violation of human rights, and we demand an immediate and lasting ceasefire,” said Basma Bsharat, Palestinian American Community Center’s Palestine Education Director.
AR196 is inspired by federal and state legislation such as the State of Wisconsin’s Joint Senate Ceasefire Resolution and the federal Ceasefire Now Resolution.
“It is with great pride that I can say my federal representative, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, was an early cosponsor of the Ceasefire Now Resolution,” said Assemblywoman Jaffer. “She continues to lead with courage, strength, and a commitment to human dignity, which is needed during this painful time.”
Several unions have also passed resolutions calling for a ceasefire including UAW (United Auto Workers) and the American Postal Workers Union.
Last month on October 20th, Assemblywoman Jaffer addressed letters to every member of the New Jersey Congressional Delegation urging them to join Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (N.J.-12) in signing onto the Ceasefire Now Resolution.
Since these initial requests were sent to the New Jersey Congressional Delegation, the death toll in Gaza has risen from 4,200 to over 14,000.
“Israelis and Palestinians deserve to live in peace and safety. As a mother, I implore all parties to focus on our common humanity,” said Assemblywoman Jaffer. “I continue to urge my colleagues in the New Jersey Legislature to join us in this effort to heal and build the peaceful world all our children deserve.”