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StandWithUs Condemns Antisemitic and Anti-Israel New Business Items Proposed at NEA Representative Assembly


 
 

(Philadelphia, PA – June 24, 2024) – StandWithUs strongly condemns multiple antisemitic and anti-Israel New Business Items (NBIs)  that have been introduced ahead of the National Education Association (NEA) Representative Assembly. The assembly, which brings together over 6,000 delegates from across the United States will take place in Philadelphia from July 3-7, 2024.

 

“As a former public school educator and teachers' union officer, I urge NEA leaders and delegates to take a decisive stand against antisemitism and anti-Israel bias within their ranks,” said David Smokler, Director of K-12 Educator Outreach at StandWithUs.  "The NEA must ensure a safe and inclusive environment for all educators and students, and maintain public trust in what is being taught in our classrooms. Passing antisemitic and anti-Israel resolutions would not only harm Jewish members, but also undermine the integrity of public education."

 

States Roz Rothstein, co-founder and CEO, "Since our inception in 2001, StandWithUs has been working tirelessly to keep educational institutions free from hatred and bias and encourage critical thinking and respect for diverse perspectives. We will continue to support Jewish educators and allies in teaching the truth about Israel especially at this critical time when disinformation is rampant and antisemitism is on the rise." 

 

Several proposed NBIs promote hate and misinformation. Three NBIs call for the NEA to align itself with Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) in various ways. BDS seeks to shut down Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, silence mainstream Jewish and Israeli perspectives in educational institutions, promote boycotts of Israeli goods and the severing of ties with Israeli institutions, all with the ultimate intention of ending Israel’s existence. 

 

Another proposed NBI demands that the NEA officially deny the connection between bigotry against Jews and anti-Zionism. Anti-Zionism is an ideology that opposes Israel’s existence and seeks to strip away Jewish rights to self-determination in their ancestral home. According to multiple studies, the vast majority of American Jews consider Israel an important part of their Jewish identity and see denying Israel’s right to exist as antisemitism. The NEA must recognize the lived experiences of the Jewish community, fight antisemitism in all its forms, and reject any effort to shield hate groups from accountability.

 

There is also an NBI calling for the NEA to promote Palestinian narratives about the Nakba – an Arabic term meaning “catastrophe” which is used to describe the founding of Israel, Israel’s victory against invading Arab forces in the 1948 War, and the tragic refugee crisis that ensued. There is no factual context, such as Palestinian leaders and Arab states rejecting a two state solution proposed by the UN and choosing all out war instead. Nor does the NBI include any Israeli experiences or perspectives regarding the 1948 War. The NEA has a responsibility to help teachers educate about such controversial issues in an accurate and balanced way, instead of promoting narrow political agendas or propaganda. 

 

As the largest teachers union in the United States, the NEA has a significant influence on educational policies and practices. Before and especially after the atrocities of October 7th, a number of local and state NEA union affiliates have been embroiled in major controversies regarding antisemitism and anti-Israel bias. In some cases, this has resulted in Jewish families moving their children to different school districts with a less hostile learning environment.




About StandWithUs 

  

StandWithUs (SWU) is an international, nonprofit, and non-partisan Israel education organization that works to inspire and educate people of all ages about Israel, as well as challenge misinformation and fight against antisemitism. 

  

Through university fellowships, high school internships, middle school curricula, conferences, materials, social media, educational films, and missions to Israel, StandWithUs supports people around the world who want to educate their schools and communities about Israel. 

  

Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Los Angeles, the organization has chapters and programs throughout the U.S., Israel, the UK, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, the Netherlands and Australia. 


For the last eleven years, StandWithUs has consistently received the highest possible ratings from Charity Navigator and GuideStar, two charity watchdog groups that assess hundreds of thousands of charities in the United States. 


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