Please read the below statement approved today by the NTA Executive Committee:
On December 9, the Massachusetts Teachers Association Board of Directors voted to approve a motion calling for a cease fire in the “genocidal war on the Palestinian people.” The NTA unequivocally dissociates itself from this statement, and in particular from its antisemitic dog-whistling.
The current situation in the Middle East is both tragic and incredibly complicated, with implications that extend far beyond the actual ongoing war in Gaza. The motion and rationale approved by the MTA Board captures how the tragedy impacts many innocent Palestinians in Gaza. But the statement fails completely to hold in mind the atrocities against Israelis on October 7, the complexity of the situation, and the trauma, pain, and fallout the Israeli, American, and international Jewish communities are experiencing.
Some will defend this motion, and deny that to accuse Israeli of engaging in a “genocidal war on the Palestinian people” will provoke further antisemitism, or deny that the very use of the word “genocide” to characterize the actions of a people who experienced the Holocaust is callous. However, the motion approved by the MTA Board will provoke further antisemitism, and it is callous. For this reason, in dissociating itself from this motion, the NTA calls upon the MTA Board of Directors to retract its statement immediately.
Mike Zilles, President
Newton Teachers Association