First Major Teachers' Union Backs Israel Boycott
Mission High School in San Francisco, California. (Dreamstime)
By Jeffrey Rodack | Friday, 28 May 2021 11:12 AM
Voting members of the teachers’ union for the San Francisco Unified School District have officially come out in support of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
An article posted by J. – The Jewish News of Northern California, noted the union passed a resolution on May 19 in support of the boycott and other measures against Israel.
According to the article, the union is affiliated with the AFL-CIO. The news outlet said it is the first American K-12 union of public school teachers to officially support the BDS movement.
The resolution was submitted to the union assembly by 10 members from several San Francisco schools. It was titled "Resolution in Solidarity with the Palestinian People."
"Whereas, as public school educators in the United States of America, we have a special responsibility to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people because of the $3.8 billion annually that the US government gives to Israel, thus directly using our tax dollars to fund apartheid and war crimes," the resolution reads.
It also called for Israel to end its "bombardment of Gaza and stop displacement at Sheikh Jarrah," referring to the neighborhood in East Jerusalem that had become a major issue in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
Union president Susan Solomon told J. that resolutions are "presented, discussed, and debated" by the union’s assembly members.
And Jewish Community Relations Council executive director Tyler Gregory called the resolution "factually inaccurate" and "inflammatory."
"Rather than supporting all students whose families may be impacted by the conflict, Israelis, Palestinians, Jews, and Arabs, this vote will contribute to Jewish students feeling unsafe and unwelcomed in San Francisco public schools," he said. "We are committed to fighting for fair and inclusive policies to support Jews and other marginalized communities in public education."
A truce between Israel and Hamas took hold on May 21 after the worst violence in years. Israel's bombardment of Gaza and militant rocket attacks on Israeli towns ceased after 11 days under an agreement mediated by Egypt, according to Reuters.
The violence had erupted on May 10, triggered by Palestinians' anger at what they saw as Israeli curbs on their rights in Jerusalem, including during police confrontations with protesters at Al-Aqsa mosque during the Ramadan fasting month
But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the operation had hit the ability of Hamas, the Islamist group which runs Gaza, to launch missiles at Israel.