Antisemitism in the American K-12 public is becoming more commonplace. This time, the oldest hatred in the world showed up during a Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) meeting.

The Times of Israel reported that during a training webinar, “The Struggle Against Anti-Palestinian Racism,” administrators raised questions like: “How does Palestine fit into the larger framework of colonialism and imperialism?” and “Why is anti-Zionism, not antisemitism?”

The questions may seem innocent to those unfamiliar with Israel and Jewish history, so it takes some explanation.

Jews are indigenous to the Middle East and Israel. According to StandWithUs, an Israel education group, “Over 3,000 years ago, the Jewish people developed a thriving civilization and culture in the Land of Israel.” The argument that Israel is “colonialism” or “imperialism” suggests that Jews have no right to the land of Israel. Second, asking why “anti-Zionism” is not “antisemitism” is not antisemitic in and of itself…all questions are welcome, even uncomfortable ones. But denying the Jewish people’s right to self-determination and to live in their ancestral homeland is, indeed, antisemitic.

But the MTA’s obsession with Jews doesn’t start and end with one webinar. Since the Oct. 7 massacre, the MTA has engaged in anti-Israel activities, including calling for a ceasefire less than one month after the Oct. 7 massacre. In December 2023, they approved plans to include “Israel and Occupied Palestine” in curricula. 

The MTA claims it is “dedicated to improving the workplace and the quality of life for all education employees and to protecting their hard-won rights.” It is perplexing, at best, that an organization claiming to advocate for educators fixates on Jews—who comprise less than 0.2% of the world population—and Israel, a country roughly the same size as New Jersey.

Reports from around the country reveal that Jewish families are leaving public schools due to their antisemitic environments. To do so, Jewish families, including those in Massachusetts, need expanded school choice options. Children of all backgrounds and beliefs should not be taught by teachers who believe in antisemitic propaganda. According to EdChoice, Massachusetts “does not have a private school choice program” but has some charter schools and open enrollment, which allows some students to attend schools outside their district.

Parents and children deserve alternatives to their children being taught antisemitic viewpoints, and offering that alternative starts with expanding school choice for all Massachusetts families.

More can be found in a recent IWF Education Freedom Center teachers union report card, “Massachusetts Teachers Association Embraces Antisemitism.”