Randi Weingarten is (2013) the president of the American Federation of Teachers.
Ali Abunimah reports (26 March 2015):
Randi Weingarten then began to speak about a delegation of AFT officials earlier this year to "Israel and the West Bank" that she traveled on along with J Street executive director Jeremy Ben-Ami.
Liberal ZionismWeingarten is one of the most influential and high-profile union leaders in the country. But at a time when inner city public school teachers are battling against education cuts and privatization, she is spending her time on advocacy for Israel that has nothing to do with that agenda.
Without consulting her constituents, she is using her union platform to push a Zionist agenda informed by her view that the Israeli occupation army is the sacred and miraculous answer to the Holocaust.Her address to J Street represented precisely the kind of liberal Zionism that Israeli journalist Noam Sheizaf condemned when he appeared on the same stage: full of easy potshots at the bogeyman Netanyahu, but total silence about Israel’s siege and massacres in Gaza.
Philip Weiss comments (16 June 2013):
I'm sure Randi Weingarten is a big liberal. She is deeply involved in the liberal Jewish community. She almost moved to Israel and played a key role in the undermining of Debbie Almontaser, the wonderful educator whose Arabic-language academy was destroyed by the Israel lobby in New York using the fact that students at the school had t-shirts with the word "intifada" on them."As someone who traveled to Israel within the year, I know intifada means more than simply 'shaking off oppression,' as Almontaser claims," Weingarten wrote. "[B]oth parents and teachers have every right to be concerned about children attending a school run by someone who doesn't instinctively denounce campaigns or ideas tied to violence."
...Though "you always look at things through the lens of who you are," she said, "none of this had anything to do with my Jewish heritage – other than my knowing what the word 'intifada' meant."