The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the statewide Education Minnesota union, is facing backlash for an “antisemitic and hostile” resolution its members passed earlier this month.
As Alpha News reported, the union’s “Israel-Palestine Resolution” blames “Israeli occupation and apartheid” for the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.
According to the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), the resolution “demonizes Jews by placing sole blame for the conflict on Israel,” fails to condemn Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on innocent Israelis, and endorses the BDS movement, “which like Hamas openly calls for the elimination of Israel.”
“In short, MFT’s resolution is antisemitic and hostile to our children, MPS staff, and puts our larger community at further risk because of their Jewish identity,” says a letter released by the JCRC and signed by 783 parents, students, staff, alumni and taxpayers.
The letter calls on Minneapolis Public Schools to distance itself from the resolution and invite the JCRC to lead a “district-wide conversation” about “Jewish identity and antisemitism.”
“We have supported our educators, but now MFT has betrayed our kids by fueling antisemitism. School should be a place where our children feel safe and nurtured — not at risk of bullying, harassment and potentially violence by those encouraged by simplistic messaging coming, from all places, their teachers. We are disappointed, scared, and expect more,” the letter says.
“While we realize the MFT is a separate entity from Minneapolis Public Schools, this betrayal endangers our children, whom we entrust in your care every day. We acknowledge nothing MFT says or does will have any impact on the conflict between Israel and Hamas, yet it is already having a devastating impact on our families here in Minneapolis,” it continues.
One of the leaders of MFT, Marcia Howard, is a prominent activist who has been heavily involved in the occupation of George Floyd Square.
The union now appears to be asking its Jewish members to sign a statement in defense of the resolution, according to a document that has been circulating online.
“We reject the idea that the MFT statement is antisemitic or outside of the union’s purview. Equating criticism of the State of Israel or Zionism with antisemitism is dangerous for us as Jews, for Palestinians, and for those working for a future of peace and liberation,” the document says. “This false equivalence of Judaism and Zionism obfuscates real threats to Jewish communities that come from white and Christian supremacists.”