The Israeli Teachers’ Union has lent its support, albeit reluctantly, to a document prepared for the World Teachers’ Association convention, which includes an article stating that the settlements are hindering peace and the two-state solution. A source in the Israeli union said that if it did not support this document then the Israeli education and academic system would face an international boycott.
The document calls on the Israeli and Palestinian teachers’ unions to demand that their governments engage in negotiations in order to reach a peace agreement. Other objectives include the reduction of the reasons for conflict and violence, recognition of Israel’s right to exist, the establishment of a Palestinian state, an end to rocket attacks on Israel, and the formation of a committee to monitor textbooks in schools run by Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The document points out that countries engaged in economic relations with the illegal settlements are violating international law. There is also a need to look into the international status of Jerusalem, it insists, as well as the fact that the Apartheid Separation Wall is built on Palestinian land.
The convention is scheduled to be held in Canada on 21 July. Teachers’ unions in Britain and South Africa announced in advance that they intended to draft a document that stipulates the boycott of Israel unless the Israeli teachers’ union supports the document condemning settlements and calling for a two-state solution.
The Head of the Israeli Teachers’ Union, Ran Erez, informed the prime minister’s office and the Israeli Foreign Ministry about the document proposed by Britain and South Africa. Erez sought advice on how to address the issue but media reports claim that he has had no official response.