fbpx

AFT Head “Troubled” By San Diego Chapter’s Anti-Israel Resolution

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten told the Times of San Diego that she’s “troubled” by some of the passages the San Diego affiliate’s passage of an anti-Israel resolution.
[additional-authors]
September 17, 2021
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten told the Times of San Diego that she’s “troubled” by some of the passages the San Diego affiliate’s passage of an anti-Israel resolution.

On September 6, the AFT Guild Local 1391 union representing San Diego and Grossmont-Cuyamaca community college district teachers passed a resolution condemning “the forced removal of Palestinian residents in West Jerusalem, the bombing of civilian areas in the besieged Gaza Strip, and the continued human rights violations committed by the Israeli government during its 73-year occupation of this land.”

“I’m troubled by aspects of this resolution, which I have already conveyed to the local leadership, including its refusal to acknowledge the right of Israel to exist or to defend itself,” Weingarten told the Times of San Diego. “The national union advocates for the right to self-determination and justice for both Israelis and Palestinians—two states for two peoples. This resolution falls far short of that commitment.”

Jewish groups have also criticized the resolution. Anti-Defamation League (ADL) San Diego released a statement on September 13 calling the resolution “problematic and based on biased assumptions with an extremely one-sided view” and warned that it could “cause Jewish and non-Jewish students and staff who are supportive of the state of Israel – and for whom a connection to Israel is part of their Jewish identity – to feel isolated and may lead to a negative impact on school campus climate.” “We fear that when people demonize Israel, denigrate its government, negate its fundamental legitimacy, and hold it to double standards, it can be antisemitic and can spawn anti-Jewish violence, as we saw happen in recent weeks, including on the streets of Southern California.” In May, members of a Palestinian caravan assaulted multiple patrons in front of the Sushi Fumi restaurant in the Beverly Grove area after asking them if they were Jewish.

“The National American Federation of Teachers rejected a similar resolution in July, and we were disappointed that AFT Guild, Local 1931 passed this problematic resolution, which likely will not foster fair treatment for all, for which we so passionately strive,” the ADL’s statement concluded.

StandWithUs similarly said in a September 11 statement that they were “deeply disturbed” by the resolution and that just because the resolution denounced antisemitism doesn’t mean it isn’t antisemitic. “As we have seen in recent months, dehumanizing campaigns targeting Israel, are anything but harmless. Anti-Israel narratives fueled a shocking spike in hate crimes against Jewish communities across the United States, including assault, vandalism, and harassment. As a result, too many teachers and students now question if they are safe and welcome in the places where they work, study and live. This statement only adds more fuel to the fire.”

Other Jewish groups criticized the resolution on Twitter. “Denying the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in its ancestral homeland is antisemitic,” the American Jewish Committee tweeted. “This hateful resolution must be withdrawn.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center also tweeted: “The Simon Wiesenthal Center also tweeted that the passage of the resolution was “antisemitism on full display.” “This is what a teachers union does? Replacing history and respect with lies and hate demonizing and endangering our children.”

Stop Antisemitism criticized the part of the resolution accusing Israel’s “advanced weaponry and indiscriminate bombing” of killing a “disproportionate amount of Palestinians.” “BILLIONS in Palestinian aid go to terror tunnels vs. sheltering/safety of their own people,” the watchdog group tweeted, asking how that is “Israel’s fault.

The union did not respond to the Journal’s September 13 request for comment. The Times of San Diego reported that the union declined to comment on their inquiries.

Did you enjoy this article?
You'll love our roundtable.

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

A Walk to Tel Aviv

May we have the awareness to notice and give thanks for the blessings already here. May we have the resilience to trust that better days will come again.

The Real Danger of AI

If you can’t tell the difference between authentic, profound human expression and machine-produced writing, then the fault lies not in the machine but in us.

More news and opinions than at a
Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.