Israel/Palestine,  The Left

Hamas busts teachers’ union in Gaza

Can any self-respecting revolutionary socialist continue to support Hamas after this news?

The ruling Hamas movement replaced hundreds of striking teachers with its own supporters Wednesday, purging Gaza’s schools of political rivals and deepening its control of this coastal territory.

Labor strife this week disrupted the public school system at the start of the academic year and added to the misery in Gaza, which has suffered from international isolation and Israeli economic sanctions since the Islamic militants of Hamas violently seized power last year.

The local teachers union, one of the last remaining strongholds of the Fatah movement in Gaza, called the strike to protest the transfer of dozens of educators to new schools. It said Hamas forced the transfers to give its supporters key posts in the education system.

Hamas denied this, but then installed hundreds of new teachers almost immediately after the walkout began. Education Minister Mohammed Askoul estimated 2,000 of the 9,000 public school teachers had been replaced

“Anybody who left their job will not be allowed to return,” Askoul said. “They have become irrelevant and cannot be trusted anymore as educators.”

This reminds me of when President Ronald Reagan fired thousands of striking air traffic controllers in 1981– although at least Reagan gave them a few days to change their minds. For this, leftists and labor activists around the world rightly denounced Reagan as a union buster. So I assume even the most anti-Zionist leftists will be equally harsh with Hamas. Surely the UCU will stand in solidarity with their fellow teachers.

I’ll be checking some of the usual-suspect websites and blogs. Please let me know if you see something– I want to give credit where it’s due.

I mean, murdering civilians and encouraging Jew-hatred is one thing. But strike-breaking?