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Washington Examiner: Teachers Union Support For Hamas Is Further Evidence For School Choice

Following the Oct. 7 massacre in Israel, teachers unions have sided with Hamas , a State Department-recognized terrorist group, by calling for a “ceasefire” and accusing Israelof being an “occupier.”

Given the recent history of teachers unions supporting widespread school shutdowns, it is evident that the unions care more about promoting radical causes than educating children.

Last month, Jackson Potter, vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union, attended an anti-Israel protest and stated , “As a union of educators dedicated to empowering the next generation, we are deeply concerned by the loss of civilian life and indiscriminate bombing throughout Gaza, where half the Palestinians living there are children.”

Jackson is wrong about Israel.

Sometimes called the most moral army in the world, Israel’s military warns Palestinians in Gaza to evacuate and is engaging in strategic strikes to destroy Hamas rather than to harm innocent civilians deliberately. Hamas, on the other hand, uses human shields (the Washington Post admits this) and kidnaps , rapes, and tortures innocent civilians.

Jackson’s support for Hamas has received accolades from the Jewish Voice for Peace, a left-wing activist group that supports terrorism under the guise of Judaism. Ironically, Jewish Voice for Peace is neither Jewish nor about peace.

But teachers union support for Hamas doesn’t end with Potter. The Chicago Teachers Union, alongside the American Federation of Teachers-Oregon, the United Educators of San Francisco, and the San Antonio Alliance of Teachers and Support Personnel, passed “ceasefire” resolutions. Many commentators have pointed out that there was a ceasefire on Oct. 6.

The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers released a statement that includes, “MFT mourns the loss of innocent life in Israel and occupied Palestine.” Using the term “occupied Palestine” suggests that Israel illegally exists — an argument that has been untrue since the United Nations voted to create the modern state of Israel in 1947. Moreover, ancient Israelites lived in Israel starting around 1000 BCE. But we don’t need thousands of years of history to know that when math and reading scores are at a 10-year low and only 14% of the nation’s eighth graders are proficient in history, teachers unions ought not to weigh in on foreign policy.

Not to be outdone, New York City’s United Federation of Teachers offered what the Washington Free Beacon rightfully labeled a “tepid” response, calling for “open dialogue and respect for differing perspectives while emphasizing the importance of peaceful negotiations.” A union that is supposed to represent people who educate children ought to take no issue with condemning terrorism. Still, the United Federation of Teachers seems more concerned with pandering to the Hamas caucus than standing on the side of freedom.

Between reading and math scores at an all-time low and teachers unions openly supporting a terrorist group, it could not be clearer that all states should pass school choice proposals such as education savings accounts or vouchers. My home state of Iowa has been a leader in this. Earlier this year, a bill was passed that established Students First Education Savings Accounts that provide families with ESAs worth $7,635 that “may be used by eligible families to cover tuition, fees, and other qualified education expenses at accredited nonpublic schools in Iowa.”

Other states ought to follow suit. No family should be required to send their child to a school where the teachers support Hamas or hate Jews. Families should have the right to choose a school where students of all faiths and ethnic groups feel welcome and can get a quality education. School choice offers such a possibility.

Nearly 20 years ago, Education Secretary Rod Paige described the National Education Association as a “terrorist organization” because of its pushback to education reforms. Amid backlash, he walked back the statement. But since the Oct. 7 massacre that killed 1,200 Jews, teachers unions’ support for Hamas suggests that he was right.

Ellie Krasne-Cohen is a visiting fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum and founder of Krasne Strategies. She holds an M.A. from the University of Chicago and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Follow her on X @parisfreedomfry .

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