Hundreds of young Jews protested Jewish federations support for endless occupation as part of IfNotNow’s High Holiday #HeedTheCall actions.
[View the story “Report-Back: IfNotNow Members on Visiting Israel/Palestine with the Center for Jewish Nonviolence” on Storify]
BDS is an understandable reaction by frustrated people, but only cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians will solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Not a single session at the East Bay JCC addressed Israel’s occupation — so we at IfNotNow held our own vigil there that night. Here’s why.
After a month long hiatus, Treyf Podcast is back with episode 17. We discuss The Jewish Daily Forward, If Not Now, Bernie Sanders, the Canadian Jewish News, and Jenna Brager’s Doykeit zine. We were joined by Michelle Weiser and Jesse Alexander Myerson.
There isn’t any misunderstanding between us and them. We are proud of our heritage, but disappointed in our community’s support of the inhumane occupation.
This week nearly 500 #IfNotNow members joined #LiberationSeder actions across the country calling on American Jewish institutions to end their support for the occupation.
Why does Beinart paint Jewish pro-BDS millenials like me as detached from Jewish communal life and identity? Maybe he wants to portray liberal Zionists like Simone Zimmerman as the ‘good Jews’ who still care about the Jewish people, and so, as a foil, he needs to characterize us as the ‘non-Jewish Jews’ who don’t. But not only is that inaccurate and offensive, it makes a mockery of the very values of inclusion he claims to cherish and admire. The power and promise of IfNotNow, the anti-occupation movement started by Zimmerman and other former J Street U students, is that, so far at least, it brings pro- and anti-BDS Jews, Zionist and anti-Zionist Jews together in a broad community of prayer and song, resistance and struggle against communal complicity in the occupation. By placing Jews like me outside the ‘bonds of Jewish peoplehood’ and claiming we are post-Jewish universalists who don’t care about the Jewish community, Beinart reinforces the very divisions and exclusions he praises millennials like Zimmerman for breaking down.
Well, that was awkward.
Just a few days after announcing that it had hired Simone Zimmerman to be its national Jewish outreach coordinator, the Bernie Sanders campaign suspended her position yesterday, in reaction to loud, right-wing criticism of her positions, activism, and language in opposing the Israeli occupation and its enablers. I had planned yesterday to take on her chorus of critics for their ethically compromised and sometimes farcical gotcha-combing of Zimmerman’s very public and proud paper trail. Now, I must add some serious, head-shaking, profound disappointment in the Sanders campaign for what really looks like management amateur hour.
I have always felt a love for Israel and a deep compassion for the struggle of Palestinians, but in the past, I had found it difficult to find a space where I could stand in solidarity and bring my fully Jewish identity to my activism. In the IfNotNow movement we show up for ourselves by addressing anti-Semitism and working to liberate ourselves from personal and communal traumas. But our liberation is deeply bound up with the liberation of others, including the Palestinian people.
Monday’s protest vehemently affirmed the last of IfNotNow’s principles, which says, “We believe that we will win.”