Boston city councilor’s description of Hamas attack as ‘massive military operation’ sparks outrage

City Hall is outraged by a Boston councilor who called Hamas a terrorist group and described the attack, which killed more than 1,400 Israelis including women, children, and babies, as an “operation”.

At a City Council meeting on Wednesday, Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson introduced a resolution calling for a de-escalation of violence and a ceasefire in Israel and the “occupied Palestine.” This was in response to a resolution that Councilor Michael Flaherty had filed earlier in week to condemn “Hamas’ brutal terrorist attacks against Israel.”

Flaherty said to the Herald that calling them a militant organization who launched a massive operation military is “completely absurd and disgusting”. “That wasn’t a military mission. It was a terrorist act — the most barbaric attack on innocent Jews since the Holocaust.

Hamas is a terrorist group that has been declared by the United States of America, Canada and European Union.


Frank Baker, a councilor from the city of Chicago, also attacked his colleague Fernandes’s description of Hamas’s role as a “Palestinian terrorist group” who “launched an enormous military operation,” and said he “was at a loss for what to say” after reading Fernandes’s resolution.

Baker called the attack on Oct. 7, “a terrorist operation.” They dragged people from their homes. “They killed people who were at a concert.”

He spoke in favor of Flaherty’s resolution but said that the City Council should “condemn Hamas”, and refer to this month’s massacre as what it really was: “It’s a terrorist act.”

At the beginning of the meeting, the City Council briefly discussed Flaherty’s resolution but decided not to vote. The measure also asked the council to show solidarity with Israel, the Israeli people and “innocent Palestinians who suffer as a result of terrorist attacks perpetrated against them by Hamas”.

Fernandes brought forward her late file only near the end of meeting. Fernandes began a new discussion that was much more heated, as she became emotionally charged over the “innocent” children that were killed in Israel and Gaza as a result.

In her resolution, she states that Israel has been recognized as “apartheid” by international human rights organizations and that Israel’s recent actions of cutting off electricity, fuel and drinking water to Gaza are “war crimes.”

Fernandes said: “If you kill innocent children, I consider you a terrorist.” “I do not know your ethnicity or religion. You’re still a terrorist, no matter what. You’re a horrible person.”

Julia Mejia praised Fernandes for her “courage”, in calling for the cease-fire.

Mejia stated, “I hope that standing up in solidarity and calling for the de-escalation cease-fire is a path towards love.” “We hope that we can bring peace to the Middle East.”

Mejia had spoken against voting on Flaherty’s resolution earlier in the meeting. She said that the City Council has been told to “focus” on the city’s business a few month ago when one of her co-workers put forward a Cuban measure.

After objections against a vote on Wednesday, both resolutions were sent before the Committee of the Whole to be heard in public. Gabriela Coletta objected against a vote being taken on Flaherty’s measure and Sharon Durkan opposed the one introduced Fernandes Andersen.

Coletta’s objection was that a public hearing could allow for “a more nuanced discussion” about the issue.

Coletta stated that, while she rejects terrorism perpetrated in Israel by Hamas, she acknowledges that the events that have transpired over the past few years have caused “immeasurable suffering and pain” to Palestinians who do not belong to Hamas.

According to City Council rules the objections effectively prevented further discussion.

The Boston Police Department prepared for escalation of the situation despite the fact that the two resolutions caused a strong disagreement between councilors.

About an hour before the start of the meeting, police officers blocked the entrance to City Hall and prevented elevator access to floor five, which is where the City Council Chamber is located.

The news that Flaherty had filed a resolution calling on Israel to show solidarity sparked some backlash on social media, especially from Fernandes Andersen, who trolled her colleague with pro-Palestinian tweets on Twitter.

The community was a small group of people who entered the Iannella Chamber. They left after Fernandes’s passionate speech, chanting “Stop the Genocide.”

Two hours later, a protest was held outside City Hall.

Rabbi Y.A. Korff will lead the weekly prayers. Flaherty, upon hearing that Korff had been in Israel the day before the Hamas attacks, asked the rabbi to share his first-hand experience.

The rabbi talked about pictures of infants in cribs that were riddled by bullets and comforting a man who received a phone call from Hamas member, telling him he would like to hear the man rape his daughter.

The father was told, “When I am done, I will have friends.”

The day’s meeting was held without the presence of Councilors Ricardo Arroyo (left), Kendra Lara (right), Ruthzee Louijeune (left) and Brian Worrell.