U.S. Education Leaders Condemn Hamas Attack, Stand with Israeli People
WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, Secretary-Treasurer Fedrick Ingram and Executive Vice President Evelyn DeJesus issued the following statement:
“We unequivocally stand with the Israeli people against the heinous and inhuman attack by Hamas against innocent civilians. The unconscionable attacks on innocent people, including young people at a concert, babies and grandmothers, must be condemned in the strongest terms.
“The solidarity shown by those in civil society—especially from the democracy movement—to support the families and communities where Israelis are missing, homeless, murdered, and kidnapped is heartening and necessary in the inexplicable absence of Israeli government action. So, too, is the outreach and the solidarity being shown in Israeli society by the Druze and Arab citizens of Israel. We are proud to support those in Israel who seek to thread society together and nurture a shared Israeli society that will promote justice and peace for all.
“President Biden’s swift response supporting Israel is welcomed. We call on the U.S. Congress to offer strong support to the White House in its efforts to calm the region.
“Israel has every right to defend itself as it will now do. We are deeply worried for the safety of the Israeli people, including the hostages now in Gaza as Hamas has threatened their execution. We are also worried for the safety of the Palestinian civilians who are now caught in the crossfire—with hundreds of people now reported dead and over 2,500 wounded in Gaza amid intensive Israeli airstrikes and a full cutoff of electricity, gas, water and food to the Gaza Strip.
“We must redouble our effort to bring peace to the region, for all Israelis and for Palestinians.”
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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.