Ali Abunimah reports (26 March 2015):
The AFT president's [Randi Weingarten] speech was not the only involvement of a US teacher's union in the conference. The J Street program lists the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) as a major donor to the conference. IFT, which represents more than 100,000 educators and public employees in Illinois and is affiliated with the AFT, ignored repeated requests for comment about the amount of the donation and its purpose. But here's a clue: IFT president Dan Montgomery, who serves as a vice-president of the AFT, also went on the junket with Weingarten and Ben-Ami.
...Erasing Gaza massacre
The only exception is when Israelis are shown as the victims of Palestinians. "We went to a community right along the Gaza Strip," Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery explains. He talks about how "when fighting broke out in Gaza," Israelis living in the area got fifteen-second warnings of rocket strikes. "And you're frantically trying to find out where your small kids are," he adds.
As he speaks, the video lingers on Israeli elementary school children. It then shows how many "safe places" – bomb shelters – they have.
This Israeli-centric view regularly instilled in participants of hasbara, or propaganda, tours completely ignores the 900,000 children – half the total population imprisoned in the Gaza Strip under Israeli siege – who have no shelters.
There is no mention of the UN schools repeatedly bombed during Israel's attack, as they served as makeshift shelters, killing children and their families.Montgomery does not fret about the more than 500 children killed – many wiped out with their entire families – and more than 3,300 injured, during Israel's 51-day bombardment of Gaza last summer.