Israel, Justice

No Time to Celebrate

Hi everyone – new Jewschooler here.
Just for context’s sake, my world has always been one of strange co-existent dualities. I have been known to take the same train as a family member to a pro-Israel rally, disembark, hug good-bye-see-you-later, and proceed in two different directions: they, to the rally itself, and I, to the protest on the green across the way.
I come to my identity as a proud, anti-Zionist Jew through this lens – I stick close to my roots and love going home to the gantze mishpocha for Shabbos, Modern Orthodox style, and at the same time, I am fueled forever by my past and by my present with a love for Judaism that is fierce and deep and that has justice at its core.
For these last couple of months, basically spanning the Passover-to-Yom Ha’atzma’ut festival season, there have been lots of public celebrations, media coverage all over the city of Jews-being-proud-of-being-Jewish in the one way most media often solely represents it – on pro-Israel floats, Seders, parades, trips and public forums.
There was another layer of frenetic activity marking this season, too – a side of Jewish New York that most people didn’t – and don’t, generally – see: anti-Zionist Jewish New York. No Time to Celebrate, just one example of the response to the plethora of Israel’s 60th celebrations, is a campaign organized by anti-Zionist Jews from around the U.S. to protest Israeli Independence Day celebrations and to commemorate the Nakba (Arabic for “catastrophe”).
For me, as someone who spent years in and around parades celebrating Israel, it never gets less powerful to remind the community that the anniversary of the Nakba is not a thing to celebrate. And to remind the community that there is a big, vibrant and growing community of Jews who are enraged by Israel’s actions, and by 60 years of occupation and dispossession, the continuing effects of 1948. And finally, to remind the community that there is not – and never has been – consensus on Zionism in the Jewish community. This in and of itself makes me extremely proud to be Jewish.
Read the full No Time to Celebrate campaign statement.

13 thoughts on “No Time to Celebrate

  1. I’d say welcome, and of course you are welcome – since voices of desent are a good thing. I do however find anti-Zionism as intellectually dishonest as extreme revisionist Zionism
    Absolutely there are some very big challenges in Israel and Palestine. There have also been some amazing accomplishments. The reality is that the complex history of the region means that there are two first peoples from the same tract of land.
    The Jewish People are an indigeonous people of Israel. A fundamental principle of human rights law is that that status doesn’t just disappear because the oppressor has managed to keep you out for long enough.
    Simmiliarly, the Palestinians are also an indigeonous people and deserve the full respect they are entitled to.
    Finding a solution for this situation takes more than just picking a side. Finding a solution for all involved is the key to real progress, and simply choosing sides only perpetuates the conflict.
    I’ll end with this thought:
    If you are a ‘nationalist’, Palestinian or Jewish, it is fundamentally hypocritical to deny the right of the other nation to exist. It is because I am a Zionist that I believe all peoples deserve the right to self determination and as such believe in a Palestinian State. The reverse should also be true – at least on an intellectual level.

  2. Anti-Zionism is your grandmothers way of making sure you remain appreciative of all that the shabbos goys in the diaspora have to offer.
    From corrupt kosher food producers, to isolated ghettos, from cultural vacuums that do not create new music or literature, to open door policy’s toward ostracism for “shandes”, anti-Zionism is just the icing on the cake.
    At the heart of the matter, it’s probably nothing more than a linguistic argument that creates this type of dilemma for many N. American Ashkenazim Jews. If Yiddish or Germanic Hebrew were commonly spoken in Israel today, many of America’s elite yeshiva’s that are the remnants of eastern Europe’s beautiful Jewish legacy might relocate to Eretz “Yiroiel”.
    Alas, that is a pipe dream. It’s much more likely that Sephardic/Mizrachi/Masorti Judaism will be the basis of the spiritual & intellectual expansion of Judaism while Chasidus will be retained within the margins by Lubavitch which has revolutionized itself into a largely pro-Zionist movement.
    Observing “Yidishkeit” means that sometimes we are not able to eat at our friends table and we must invite them to ours. But if “Tsnius” leads a chalahic Jew to sit at a Persian fiends table to feed his ears with hatred towards his fellow Jews, even if he declines the camel steak, how can you call that Yidishkeit?
    The “Naqba” as it is termed in Arabic means catastrophe. When the absentee slumlords from Syria, Lebanon, & Egypt came face to face with the tenants of the lands they had sold to the JNF before declaring the cancellation of all dealings prior agreements. An astounding defeat after a full scale war they showed these people the kind of hospitality that Arabs are famous for… the temporary kind. They assigned them to camps in which they still live 60 years later.
    The Zionist struggle has been and continues to be a struggle for human rights. Ask yourself honestly who has more rights… then non-Jewish inhabitants of the State of Israel, the Arab refugees in Lebanon, or the Anti-Zionist Jews living in anti-Zionist lands.

  3. This notion of being a proud Jew who is anti-Zionist is pretty conflicted. Zionism, at the heart of it is a tenant of Judaism just under a politicized name. What you are, is anti-Israel. Don’t obscure that fact, just be honest.

  4. You’ll forgive me when I ask this, but I get that you are Jewish and don’t like Israel’s policy but what in the world is your position?
    1) That there should be no jewish state anywhere
    2) that Israel should cease to exist as an entity
    3) That the occupation should end, and a palestinian state should be established along the borders of the 1948 armistice lines
    4) That the solution to the “Jewish” problem in the world is in the the bund organizing workers, in assimilation, or in tradition (the three real responses other than zionism to that existed prior to the Holocaust)
    But seriously, what would you DO other than express solidarity with the Palestinian national movement? Because at least options one and two require active attempts to end Israel as a state. That is a legitimate position. But, well, I’m not gonna ask….

  5. Roli writes:
    When the absentee slumlords from Syria, Lebanon, & Egypt came face to face with the tenants of the lands they had sold to the JNF before declaring the cancellation of all dealings prior agreements.
    ugh writes:
    Zionism, at the heart of it is a tenant of Judaism just under a politicized name.
    Does that mean Judaism is an absentee slumlord?

  6. Okay, so my poor spelling explains your nonsensical psychobabble? Don’t think so. I suppose it’s easier for you then forming a practical rebuttal.

  7. yael, there used to be, before the previous editor of jewschool was pressured to kick various contributors off of jewschool, including those who were more lefty.

  8. BZ,
    Jew’s have been relegated to living in the most crime infested and under serviced parts of every country we have been thrown into, including the USA. While we may have become slum lords in some cases after relocating to newer areas, unable to fight the reverse gentrification that is typical of community’s created by Jews that have always welcomed the most destitute among the nations, we never stopped supporting our community’s in Eretz Israel in the towns of Tsfat, Tiberias, Hebron, and Jerusalem for more than 2000 years. We purchased land as patrons and preservers not as landlords. The real slums in Israel are inhabited by non-Jews. When you have nowhere else to go you will make a great place of where you are. Do we still feel as our grandparents may have before the holocaust that we have nowhere to go?

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