ZOA Condemns LA Teachers Union For Hosting Group Attempting To Harm Israel
October 5, 2006

LA Teachers Should Instead
Condemn Hamas Hatred & Murder

New York and Los Angeles – The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) condemned the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) – the second largest public school teachers union in the United States — for agreeing to host a meeting next week to kick-off a political campaign of economic sanctions, boycotts and divestments against the State of Israel and called on the Union, School Board and Mayor to cancel the hosting of this racist, anti-Israel event by the UTLA.

Members of the Union representing Los Angeles public school teachers were sent an invitation to “join the Los Angeles Chapter of Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS) in launching a local boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign in support of the Palestinian people hosted by UTLA Human Rights Committee and endorsed by the “Los Angeles Palestinian Labor Solidarity Committee and Café Intifada”.

The meeting, to be held on Saturday, October 14, 2006 at the United Teachers of Los Angeles Headquarters located at 3303 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 PM, is being hosted by the Teachers Union Human Rights Committee.

In a meeting with UTLA President Duffy yesterday, ZOA LA/Western Regional Director Stephen Saltzman told the Union Chief that if UTLA proceeds to hold this meeting in their offices, “it would promote hatred and racism, and send the wrong message to teachers and students.”

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein and ZOA’s LA Executive Director Stephen Saltzman sent the following letter to A.J. Duffy, President of UTLA and the Hon. Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles, and Marlene Canter, President, Los Angeles Unified School District.

Dear Mr. Duffy,

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), (the oldest and one of the largest pro-Israel groups in the United States, whose past presidents include Justice Louis Brandeis and Rabbi Stephen Wise), is both shocked and appalled that the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA), is planning to give credibility and legitimacy to a racist group of Israel bashers by hosting their political planning meeting to harm Israel’s economy and ability to exist. We strongly urge you to immediately cancel your hosting of this meeting designed to harm Israel, a strong ally of America, and which helps the Hamas/Palestinian Authority, a terrorist regime that the US refuses to negotiate with because of its terrorist activities and goals of destroying Israel, murdering Jews, and harming the West.

This anti-Israel group, the so-called “Movement for a Democratic Society,” (MDS) is promoting a boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel. Universities from Harvard to the University of Pennsylvania to the University of Michigan have refused to support such racist campaigns against the tiny country of Israel which is surrounded by 23 Arab/Muslim states — most of whom are devoted to her destruction. Israel controls only 1/6 of 1% of the land mass of the Mideast. The Arab/Muslim countries are 600 times the size of Israel. California is almost 20 times the size of Israel. The Los Angeles metropolitan area alone has 10 million people compared to Israel’s 6 million people.

This MDS group rails against Israel’s “building of a fence.” If there was no Arab terrorism, there would be no fence necessary to protect Israeli citizens from suicide bombers infiltrating Israel.

The MDS claims Israel is “seizing Palestinian land.” Not only is this land of Judea & Samaria (West Bank) disputed land that was never a legally sovereign part of any Arab country (Jordan illegally controlled it from 1948 to 1967, but Israel has, in fact, given away (not seized) all of Gaza and one-half of Judea & Samaria and has only gotten terrorism and the murder of 2000 of its Israeli citizens in return. And Israel came to control this land because of a defensive war in 1967, not by aggression.

The MDS claims Arab citizens of Israel have “no civil rights.” Wrong. In fact, the only place in the Mideast where Arabs have freedom of speech and freedom of the press is Israel. The only place in the Middle East where Arab women have the same rights as everyone else is Israel. Israeli Arabs go to Israeli universities and serve in Israel’s parliament.

The MDS condemns Israeli checkpoints. The only reason for these checkpoints is to minimize the number of Arab terrorists coming into Israel. If no Arab terrorism — then no Israeli checkpoints.

And if 6 Arab nations did not invade the fledgling State of Israel in 1948 in order to destroy it, there would not be a single Arab refugee who fled the war zone. The Arab invasion caused the refugee issue, not Israel.

It is unacceptable and inexplicable that the Los Angeles public schools’ teacher’s union would become a host and collaborator with such activities. These are the very teachers with whom the public has entrusted their children’s education and we have the right to expect the UTLA (School Board/Mayor) to take a firm and unequivocal public stand in condemning this activity and urging the members of the UTLA to reject this activity which has no place in the public schools’ teacher’s union or public school system. The LA schools should not be promoting hatred and racism but should rather oppose and condemn it.

The UTLA should be fighting against the Palestinian promotion of hatred and murder in their schools, media and sermons. The Palestinian Arabs actually name streets, schools and sports teams after suicide bombers. The UTLA should be fighting against the Palestinians refusal to accept Israel or arrest terrorists. The UTLA should be fighting against the Palestinian’s treating their women as second class citizens.

The UTLA is on the wrong side of this issue. Again, we urge the immediate abrogation of the UTLA hosting this anti-Israel, racist event.


Morton A. Klein
National President
Zionist Organization of America

Stephen A. Saltzman
Executive Director, LA/Western Region
Zionist Organization of America

cc: Hon. Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles
Marlene Canter, President, Los Angeles Unified School District.

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