The United Educators of San Francisco has become the first American K-12 public school union to endorse the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). The resolution passed on May 19, at the height of Israel’s recent assault on Gaza.
J Weekly’s Gabriel Greschler reports that the resolution was submitted by ten educators working in San Francisco public schools and that it’s the first U.S. labor union to back the BDS movement since 2016.
In addition to the attacks on Gaza, the resolution also references the forced displacement in Sheikh Jarrah, the raid on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Israeli violence towards Palestinian protestors.
“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 dollars annually that the US government gives to Israel, thus directly using our tax dollars to fund apartheid and war crimes,” reads the resolution.
At In These Times Jeff Schurke reports that multiple U.S. labor unions have voice support for Palestine since Israel’s attacks. These include Roofers Local 36 in Los Angeles, UNITE HERE Local 17 in Minnesota, and Teamsters Local 804 in New York City.
“U.S. labor institutions traditionally and currently have played a role in legitimizing Israel. We need to hold those U.S. labor institutions accountable for that because Israel is committing war crimes and crimes against humanity,” Food Chain Workers Alliance and president-elect of the National Lawyers Guild Suzanne Adely told Schurke. “It’s been my experience that when we actually can bring conversations about Palestine into spaces where workers are, the workers are very sympathetic. But the problem is the gatekeepers have worked to keep those conversations out.”
At Tempest Alex Schmaus and brian bean report that the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) attempted to introduce a substitute resolution that placed blame for the violence on Israel and Palestine. It was voted down 25-8, with four delegates abstaining.