All That’s Left

This also appears at allthesedays.org

Not too long ago, members of All That’s Left (ATL) wrote about “Who We Are” despite the fact that we decided early on that we were interested in defining ATL’s aims not who ought to be in it. It reads:

All That’s Left members come from a variety of political, ideological and personal backgrounds, including non-Zionists, Liberal-Zionists, Anti-Zionists, Socialist-Zionists, Zionists, Post-Zionists, one, two, some, and no staters and everything in between. The common thread in our work, actions, and connections is our unequivocal opposition to the occupation and our focus on the diaspora angle of resistance to the occupation rooted in the notion that all people(s) are equal.

We wrote the note in order to clarify that the collective is made up of folks from a spectrum of backgrounds who are working to end the occupation. In the end, the “Who We Are” note essentially says: “We aren’t defining who we are.” Instead, we define ATL in a sentence (All That’s Left is a collective unequivocally opposed to the occupation and committed to building the diaspora angle of resistance) in order to create a way for people to self select.

It’s important to note that ATL is not an organization; it is a collective of individuals that come together around our unequivocal opposition to the occupation and focus on building the diaspora angle of resistance. That’s the only statement we have or will make as a collective. All of the actions we do are actions that members of ATL have done, not an ATL organization (no such organization exists). It is an important distinction to make here because I am only really speaking for myself as a member of ATL. I am in no way a spokesperson or official rep.

ATL’s roots are in the need that we saw to make it easier to connect people coming from elsewhere to the anti-occupation movement in Israel and/or Palestine. The collective started collecting in January 2013 with the aim of aggregating information on platforms such as facebook and twitter  about tours, learning opportunities, events, and actions that oppose the occupation and/or educate about the reality at hand; to fill some of the gaps between already existing anti-occupation groups without being redundant. Almost immediately members started thinking about organizing unique actions and opportunities to connect the diaspora to the anti-occupation movement.

I’ve had conversations with people who say that it isn’t enough to say that you are opposed to the occupation. People tend to get uncomfortable considering the reality that all the ideologies listed in that “who we are” note are diverse and can be subdivided even further. We have had conversations at meetings here or there about what justice means, what peace means, what the occupation is, and more. Some people suggest that a collective such as ours needs further definition given that the spectrum on these issues runs from “there is no such thing as the occupation” to “everything from the river to the sea is occupied.”

As far as I can tell we have a definition (reminder that I am a member of the collective not a spokesperson or official rep): The occupation that we are talking about together, and unequivocally opposed to, is the reality that people are living under martial law and under siege without civil or human rights. Our aim as a collective is to connect diaspora folks through learning and action to ending that reality.

This model of building a collective of individuals around a single statement has been inspired in many ways by the kind of self-organizing models that the (in this case ironically named) occupy movement(s) took on. There is less process and more experimentation, there is organic culture and vision-making toward building shared goals, as opposed to fully fleshed out and declared goals in order to build common culture. It is a very different model compared some of the models that many activists (myself included) in many movements are used to organizing within, but it is working.  To be sure, both organizing models are important ways of struggling for justice. The model we are using seems to be a good one in our process of building a broad platform for diaspora folks to get involved in ending the reality in which millions of people live under martial law without rights (ie. the occupation).

There may be others in ATL with other opinions, but again the collective comes together around a particular statement that leaves much to the culture, analysis, strategy, and visions of the members of the collective, but it is not a fully blank slate. After all, we know we are unequivocally committed to ending the occupation and focused on building the diaspora angle of resistance.


A. Daniel Roth is an educator and journalist living in South Tel Aviv. You can find more of his writing and photography at allthesedays.org and follow him on twitter @adanielroth.

4 Responses to “All That’s Left”

  1. Is it true that a very prominent member in ATL was charged with abusing a former spouse? I understand accusations were voiced in the Israeli web but he refuses to adress them publicly


    interested party · April 5th, 2014 at 4:11 pm
  2. How can any serious person suggest that Palestinians in Area A, which includes 95% of Palestinians, “are living under martial law and under siege without civil or human rights”? They have their own government, which they elected into office, their own laws and judiciary, to which they are subject, complete freedom of movement in Area A, and more limited, but hardly draconian restrictions on movement in Areas B and C – under a signed agreement by their elected government with Israel, one might add – and these restrictions are subject to Israeli judicial oversight to make sure they comply with security necessities.

    Here’s a question to Daniel from South Tel Aviv. Why is it that your ideas can’t seem to get any traction in South Tel Aviv, where you live? Why don’t you go empower some of your neighbors to confront this affront to humanity, as you’d no doubt put it, just minutes from your own home? I guess it’s easier to bamboozle hapless and uninformed American Jews who don’t know what the hell is going on, who have never had rockets rain down on their children, but need an outlet for all that Jewish Day School angst they’ve been harboring ever since Bobby and Susie didn’t want to be their friend on the playground.

    Total nonsense from what appear to be self-aggrandizing nobodies, one of whom wrote 9 paragraphs so devoid of real content as to make the “methods” section of medical research sound fascinating.

    Thanks for nothing.

    And what the fruit is going on with Jewschool? Half the articles lately are just repackaged press releases from various orgs or uninspired reposts from other blogs. I used to learn things here. Very disappointing.


    Victor · April 6th, 2014 at 8:53 am
  3. Such failures to distinguish yourselves often work for a while, but often have truly terrible consequences later. The most obvious examples include such arrangements with far right groups (such as, say, the Iranian revolution), but any illiberal tendency will do the same.


    Matt · April 6th, 2014 at 12:22 pm
  4. The group is a platform and connector, first and foremost, for getting people involved in ending the occupation: Getting interested people connected to anti-occupation orgs, projects, people. It’s not to say that it is a coalition of left and right and whatever. It’s not a coalition. It is a way for people who want to end the occupation to get involved.

    Many thousands of those people are Israelis (exs include: www.yesh-din.org/ or www.breakingthesilence.org.il/) – yes, even from South Tel Aviv – and the idea here is to connect MORE people from (gasp!) elsewhere who, despite being from other places, know enough (and care enough) to know that ending the occupation is good for everyone.

    No, not 95% of Palestinians live in Area A (some counts have Areas A and B and Gaza together making up 95% of the Palestinian population w/o Israeli passports here), but never mind. The reality is that the A areas are disconnected from one another and the barrier and checkpoints make travel through the West Bank humiliating (ex: www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/israeli-mk-gets-a-taste-of-palestinian-humiliation-at-qalandiyah-checkpoint.premium-1.516933) and often dangerous for Palestinians living under occupation ( Side note: Using the term siege in Gaza seems apt given they control none of their borders). As well, the Israel army, whether agreed upon or not, enters into all areas of the West Bank (Ex: www.timesofisrael.com/idf-raids-ramallah-tv-station-seizes-equipment/).Yes, at the end of the day, even if many have access to some PA institutions, the reality for Palestinians in the West Bank, where the Israeli army acts as the authority over Palestinians, is martial law (ex: 972mag.com/visualizing-occupation-children-under-israels-legal-regime/58973/ and background: www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2012/jan/25/how-occupation-became-legal/).


    Daniel · April 7th, 2014 at 10:10 am

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"I may attack a certain point of view which I consider false, but I will never attack a person who preaches it. I have always a high regard for the individual who is honest and moral, even when I am not in agreement with him. Such a relation is in accord with the concept of kavod habriyot, for beloved is man for he is created in the image of God." —Rav Joseph Soloveitchik