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Massachusetts teachers union offers anti-Israel webinar

‘How does Palestine fit into the larger framework of colonialism and imperialism?’

The Massachusetts branch of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union, is in hot water for offering a virtual seminar critics say was “antisemitic and anti-Israel.”

According to ABC-15, in honor of March 21’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Massachusetts Teachers Association’s “Anti-Racism Task Force” showed “The Struggle Against Anti-Palestinian Racism.”

The webinar’s goal allegedly was to “engage” teachers in the history of the Palestinians.

“[T]he idea that Palestinian history is more complicated than the history of other struggles against oppression means that anti-Palestinian racism too often goes unnoticed,” the webinar description read.

An event flyer offered several questions including “how does Palestine fit into the larger framework of colonialism and imperialism?” and “why is anti-Zionism not anti-Semitism?”

The webinar was ripped by the local Anti-Defamation League, which said the seminar “reinforce[d] antisemitic and anti-Israel falsehoods.

ImageBack in December, the MTA had passed a motion demanding the U.S. “end its complicity in Israel’s ‘genocidal war’ against Palestinians.” Under the motion, the union’s leadership “promised to help pressure the Biden administration” to end its monetary assistance re: Israel’s counter-assault against the terror group Hamas.

MORE: Modern Language Association passes motion in support of anti-Israel faculty

MTA President Max Page (pictured), who according to his union bio is “a longtime public education activist” who’s promoted the “Green New Deal” and so-called “Fair Share” tax policies, said he is “proud [to] lead a democratic organization that wrestles with the world as it is, so we may build the world we all deserve.”

From the story:

Page admitted […] the teachers union received phone calls and emails urging it against hosting a workshop where “views and expertise on Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian racism” will be shared. The president noted that not all viewpoints expressed in workshops hosted by its Anti-Racism Task Force “represent the official views” of MTA.

“Speaking personally, as a union member but also a Jew, as someone whose father was a refugee from Nazi Germany and who lost 18 family members to the ovens of Auschwitz, it has been particularly difficult in recent months to be accused of antisemitism,” Page said. “I may disagree with views expressed at various events, and at times I will even disagree with actions or language in the actions our Board takes. But I will attend these events, listen and learn.”

“The Struggle Against Anti-Palestinian Racism” webinar apparently has been taken down from the MTA Anti-Racism Task Force website.

But other webinars available include “High Stakes Testing is a Racial and Social Justice Issue,” “Censorship of Books: Why We Must Resist,” and “Self-Care and Wellness as a Form of Resistance.”

MORE: School’s ‘Culturally Responsive Committee’ urges teachers to use anti-Israel terminology

IMAGES: ADL New England, Max Page/X

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