Sunday, July 07, 2019

Israel haters try to weaponize National Education Association convention; conference materials refer to Israel as guilty of "apartheid" (@NEAToday)

The National Education Association is the  is the largest labor union and professional interest group in the United States, with over 3 million members, mostly public school teachers. It is the mainstream base of the Democratic party, with the overwhelming percentage of political contributions from the NEA (95% in 2012) going to Democratic candidates.

For the past two years, anti-Israel membrs have tried to push agenda iems against Israel at the NEA's annual convention.

Last year, New Business Item 92 stated:

NEA will support efforts to prevent U.S. aid being used to detain, interrogate, abuse, and imprison Palestinian children in Israel’s adult military courts.
Rationale: Israel is the only country in the world systematically detaining and prosecuting children in military courts. 500-700 children are prosecuted annually since 2010.
Solution: Representative McCollum’s bill, H.R. 4391 promotes human rights by ending Israeli detention of children.
This year, at the annual National Education Association Representative Assembly in Houston, a group of members who hate Israel tried to push through a different agenda item, where they would partner with BDS groups:
NEA will use existing digital communication to develop and publish resources to educate members and the general public on the apartheid, atrocities, and gross violations of human rights of Palestinian children and families by the State of Israel, funded directly by the United States.

NEA will publish an article in the NEA Today on the work that is being done by our members and organizations fighting for the rights of Palestinian children and families, such as but not limited to: Parents Against Child Detention, HaMoked-Center for the Defense of the Individual, Defense for Children International-Palestine, American Friends Service Committee, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, Jews Against Anti-Muslim Racism, and Jewish Voice for Peace.

NEA will partner with the No Way to Treat Child Campaign to pressure the Israeli government to end the detention and abuse of Palestinian children.

The NEA must oppose the detainment, incarceration, torture, family separation, and murder of children or their families at the hands of the United States, domestically as well as globally.
Both of these measures were defeated, officially for budgetary reasons. I do not know how close the votes were. But the fact that they are being brought up to begin with shows how anti-Israel forces are trying to hijack the largest labor union in the US.

The 2018 proposed  item it grossly misleading - the US puts tens of thousands of children in both detention and prison annually, and many countries arrest and detain large numbers of children for military activities - but the words "military courts" is used to attack Israel alone and make it look uniquely evil. The existence of the item is anti-Israel propaganda.

The proposed 2019 item is far worse, and insidious even in its defeat. The language itself pre-supposes that Israel is an apartheid state, and this lie was published in conference materials and at the NEA website as fact. The existence of the business item itself is offensive; akin to a business item denouncing black people for being lazy - even though such an item would soundly defeated, its very existence and being allowed as a business agenda item is a means of mainstreaming lies.

No doubt the bylaws of the NEA do not force fact checking on agenda items, because no one envisioned attempts by special interest groups to use the NEA as a means to mainstream hate. However, teachers themselves should be cognizant of how the very existence of such an item, read by millions of interested union members, is effective anti-Israel propaganda and it makes it easier for next year's anti-Israel resolutions.

These lies, published as fact in an education convention, must be called out and the procedures that allow such lies to be published in official assembly materials must be modified to stop the NEA from unwittingly being a vehicle to push hate.

(h/t Lauri)

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