At least 25 members of the National Education Union (NEU) from JFS have reportedly quit over concerns about antisemitism.
The resignations over the past few weeks come as Kevin Courtney, the NEU’s Joint General Secretary, spoke at antisemitism-infested rallies in the past fortnight.
There were also general concerns that the NEU’s stance on the conflict between Israel and Hamas was unbalanced, with some JFS staffers alleging that the NEU failed to condemn Hamas, an antisemitic genocidal terrorist organisation.
John Lopez, a former NEU representative at JFS, said: “I felt I had no choice to leave the Union which isolated me as a Jewish, pro-Israel, teacher. I spent close to two years trying to get the NEU (starting with Brent Branch) to adopt the [International Definition of Antisemitism] so Jewish NEU members can feel safer, as well as writing letters with others to Educate magazine which were ignored.
“Most recently they urged NEU members to join the PSC [Palestine Solidarity Campaign] rally for Palestine which involved antisemitism and calls for the abolition of the Jewish State. The NEU have picked a side which is not only anti-Israel but indifferent to Jews. I am glad I am no longer part of this Union,” he added.
Research conducted by Campaign Against Antisemitism has previously revealed widespread antisemitism amongst supporters of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
There was also discontentment among Jewish teachers, with one claiming that she was muted on an NEU Facebook page after she wrote: “I wish to cancel my membership, with immediate effect. This is due to the union’s continuous and in my opinion biased involvement with demonstrations that have unfortunately seen a rise of antisemitic attacks against one of the smallest UK communities. A teaching union should be impartial, as we are a professional body, who must represent these strong ethics and values in our schools. I do not feel comfortable being part of a union that encourages (although not necessarily intended) antisemitism. This is not why I became a teacher. I expect my membership to be terminated immediately.”
Recently, a Jewish school advised their students to cover their skullcaps and avoid wearing their school blazers in public.
Campaign Against Antisemitism has reported on pupils and teachers being intimidated by peers in connection to the conflict between Israel and Hamas and published a short resource for children and parents facing antisemitism in schools.