The Massachusetts Teachers Association board of directors voted in favor of a statement on Saturday that accuses the United States of being complicit in genocide.
The board of directors for the union, which represents 117,000 teachers, faculty, and other professional staff members at Massachusetts public schools and universities, agreed on Saturday to a statement that not only calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, but also says the United States is complicit in the “genocidal assault.”
“As an educators’ union, we must take a stand with our union siblings, and promote peace and justice in the region by calling for an end to our government’s complicity with Israel’s genocidal assault on the people of Gaza and intent to take over their territory,” the statement reads. “How many deaths, how many more children must die, before we take a stand? Silence is complicity,” it adds.
The Anti-Defamation League of New England said that the community should demand better from a group of people “charged with educating our young people.”
:The Massachusetts Teachers Association’s statement camouflages within its call for a ceasefire an ill-founded attack on Israel – a perverse position, given that Israeli civilians were the victims of the heinous Hamas-led terrorist attack on October 7,” said the ADL chapter’s director, Dr. Jonah C. Steinberg. “At a minimum, the statement’s failure to explicitly and unconditionally condemn the Hamas attack call for the return of all remaining hostages or demand that any ceasefire include a commitment to remove Hamas — whose officials have reportedly vowed to repeat terrorist attacks like the one on October 7th until Israel is destroyed — as a controlling actor in Gaza is revealing.”
“Ostensibly representing those charged with educating our young people, this statement does nothing to further understanding or meaningful discourse on this complex issue,” Steinberg said. “The Massachusetts Teachers Association has a responsibility, as representative of educators in our Commonwealth, to do its homework. In this instance, it has not.”
Steinberg also said the ADL has heard concerns from union members who reject the framing of the resolution and its blame that Israel is “solely responsible for the ensuing humanitarian crisis.”
The union statement also cited death toll numbers from the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, which has a history of lying about causality numbers.
“Over 16,248 Palestinians, largely civilians, including over 7,112 children (as of 12/5/23) have been brutally killed in Gaza since October 7, 2023; an estimated 1.8 million people have been internally displaced, and 40,000 (as of 12/2/23) people have wounded in the U.S.-backed assault by the Israeli military on schools, hospitals, and humanitarian organizations,” the statement says.
Joe Herosy, a retired music teacher from Quincy, Massachusetts, submitted the statement which was seconded by Deborah Gesualdo, a current music teacher who is also the president of the Malden Educators Association.
In November, Gesualdo retweeted a post on X that claimed the “extremist, Zionist regime is wholesale slaughtering innocent civilians.”
The MTA and Gesualdo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.