Main LA teachers union indefinitely shelves BDS resolution

At heated meeting, Los Angeles teachers union approves board motion to indefinitely postpone voting on BDS resolutions.

Dan Verbin, Canada ,

Classroom (illustration)
Classroom (illustration)

Los Angeles’ main teachers union voted on Thursday to indefinitely shelve a motion to boycott Israel.

The motion, which was brought up at a United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) board meeting, called on the union to endorse the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and to call on US President Joe Biden to end foreign aid to Israel.

A pro-BDS motion with similar details was adopted by several UTLA locals over the summer.

Reportedly, many Jewish families said they were worried about their children’s safety and quality of education as they returned to school this fall, given that local motions had passed and with worry about the main body potentially passing the resolution.

After the local motions passed, a group calling itself L.A. Parents Against Antisemitism (LAPAA) crafted a petition against the union's endorsement of the BDS movement, receiving hundreds of signatures from Los Angeles teachers.

Since the May conflict between Israel and Hamas, the 30,000 strong teachers union had been debating whether to endorse the BDS motion.

According to a copy of the resolution published in Left Voice, it called for the union to “endorse the international campaign for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against apartheid in Israel,” while also stating the union’s “solidarity with the Palestinian people because of the 3.8 billion dollars annually that the US government gives to Israel, thus directly using our tax dollars to fund apartheid and war crimes.”

According to JWeekly, at the Thursday board meeting, the union voted to not vote on the BDS resolution, effectively postponing a general vote on the matter for the foreseeable future.

The UTLA House of Representatives supported a motion by the union’s board that said that “the motions on Israel/Palestine from the May 2021 Area meetings be postponed indefinitely” due to BDS being “an extremely divisive issue that would seriously damage union unity at a time when we need solidarity in our coming contractual battles.”

The meeting was reportedly heated with union president Cecily Myart-Cruz having to remind members to remain calm and refrain from interrupting each other.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)