American Federation of Teachers joins calls for ceasefire in Gaza

Washington DC - The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has passed a resolution formally calling for a ceasefire in Gaza as the death toll surpasses 26,000.

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), led by President Randi Weingarten, has called for a bilateral ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza war.
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), led by President Randi Weingarten, has called for a bilateral ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza war.  © IMAGO / USA TODAY Network

On Monday, the labor union, representing over 1.7 million members employed in education and healthcare, announced that their Executive Council had passed the call for a bilateral ceasefire and affirmed its support for a two-state solution.

"As educators, healthcare professionals, and public service professionals, we are sick at heart over the toll this war has taken on thousands of innocent people, particularly innocent children," the AFT's resolution said.

"A bilateral cease-fire is necessary to start the process of negotiating a lasting agreement that ends the decades of conflict and bloodshed by recognizing the rights of both peoples and providing each with its own government — two states for two peoples," the statement continued.

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The AFT noted that a ceasefire agreement must include vital humanitarian aid for Palestinians.

The union also addressed the rise in antisemitism and Islamophobia since October 7, 2023, condemning the acts of hatred as well as the "weaponization" of such incidents "to censor dissenting views of the war."

AFT condemns rise in antisemitism and Islamophobia amid Israel-Gaza war

"These campaigns are particularly troubling in education, where they strike at the heart of the freedom to have unfettered, intellectually honest, and respectful discussion and to freely debate ideas, even controversial ideas," the AFT said.

The union further condemned the "weaponization of academic discourse to be used in political attacks on American colleges and universities," adding that campuses must allow both students and faculty to freely exchange opposing views "without fear of loss of position and retaliation and without intimidation and threats of violence."

The AFT joins fellows unions, including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), United Auto Workers (UAW), and American Postal Workers Union (APWU), in its call for a ceasefire.

Cover photo: IMAGO / USA TODAY Network

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