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2010 U.S. Assembly of Jews: Confronting Racism and Israeli Apartheid

 

Our Purpose, Goals, Assumptions, and Expectations for the Assembly

What Is Zionism?

Zionism is a political movement that supports the ongoing project of colonizing Palestine for the purposes of building a state premised on Jewish nationalism.  Therefore, a central goal of the current Zionist movement is to ensure that Israel maintains the maximum area in Palestine with the minimum number of Palestinians.

Purpose:

To gather together as anti-Zionist Jewish (AZJ) activists committed to social justice and to challenging racism, colonialism, and imperialism — first and foremost by contributing to efforts to overcome Zionism and decolonize Palestine.  The Assembly hopes to provide a forum to share political perspectives, campaigns, and other activities, culture and ritual, and build relationships toward collective work.  Through building assessment of the current moment in the US and international Palestine solidarity movement, larger social justice movements and political context, we hope to build a shared direction for anti-Zionist Jewish organizing in the United States.  This is in the interest of making our work more effective.

You Are Welcome to Join Us:

We welcome all who are interested in supporting the organizing of anti-Zionist Jews as part of the broader Palestine solidarity movement and anti-racist, anti-imperialist organizing in the United States.  However, the Assembly is oriented toward Jews confronting Zionism.

We also welcome those who are critical of Zionism and interested in learning more about anti-Zionist Jewish activism.  However, we ask those who are still in a process of rejecting Zionism to participate as observers.

Finally, we welcome the participation and contributions of academics and intellectuals, but stress that the focus of the Assembly is on activism and organizing and the application of politics into practice.

Assumptions:

  • We share an explicit commitment to supporting Palestinian self-determination and to anti-Zionist, anti-racist, and anti-imperialist politics and practice (a rejection of Zionism).
  • Our anti-Zionist politics and practice are part of and reflect our commitment to broader liberation movements.
  • We support the 2005 Palestinian Civil Society call for full boycott, divestment, and sanctions and the demands outlined in the call.
  • We want to leverage the power of anti-Zionist Jewish voices and organizing while challenging the privileging of them.
  • We organize against racism, cultural oppression, and the invisibilizing of Jews of North African, African, and Asian descent and of working class Jews.  We seek to decentralize white, European, Ashkenazi Jewish culture, history, Judaism, and experience, while making more visible the true plurality of the histories and experiences of Jews.
  • Our points of references for anti-Zionist Jewish organizing are the Palestinian grassroots and civil society movement and anti-racist, immigrant and indigenous rights, anti-war, and anti-imperialist movements in the United States.  We orient around the demands of Palestinian civil society.
  • We do not organize to gain the approval of, or for legitimacy in relationship to, Jewish popular opinion, liberal Zionist organizations, or US public opinion.  These are all places we hope to influence over time but not opinions that we consider when making decisions about our politics, messaging, or work.
  • Our work is a reflection of our belief that the dismantling of Zionism and Israel is in the best interest of Jewish communities and Judaism.
  • We reject alliances with anti-Jewish racists, white supremacists, and Nazi holocaust deniers.

Goals:

  • Develop anti-Zionist Jewish political discourse, cultural expression, and practice
  • Consolidate and develop strategy and direction for AZJ organizing in the US
  • Build relationships across regions and organizing efforts
  • Share and advance campaigns and programs (particularly BDS)
  • Share media, culture, and educational tools and processes
  • Strengthen specific anti-Zionist sectors: spiritual, Jews-of-color(JOC)/Mizrahim, queer, labor, students
  • Create spaces for education, analysis, and emotional/personal process
  • Develop a shared picture of the conditions, state of the movement, opportunities, challenges, and key questions
  • Develop a shared picture of where our work is in relationship to other Palestine liberation and solidarity, anti-racist, and anti-imperialist movements in the US and to international AZJ and Palestine solidarity/liberation struggles

 Expectations:

We welcome those who are critical of and reject Zionism and come with a genuine interest in discussion, activism, and organizing toward confronting Zionism and the decolonization of Palestine.  We welcome the contributions of anti-Zionist Jews from diverse political histories and tendencies and hope that the Assembly will be a place to name and use our differences well and build unity wherever possible.  We are committed to creating a space where people’s full humanity is recognized and respected.  In recognition that our movements are not separate but part of the dominant societies that they challenge, we expect oppressive dynamics and behavior to show up during the Assembly.  We share collective responsibility to name and challenge these dynamics when they occur in ways that build and do not divide our movement.

We will not tolerate attempts to disrupt, undermine, provoke, or attack participants, speakers, or facilitators.  We are conscious that in every movement there are those who participate for purposes of preventing success or for sectarian or personal interests.  Such participants are not welcome at this Assembly.


For more information about the 2010 U.S. Assembly of Jews Confronting Israeli Apartheid and Racism, visit <www.jewsconfrontapartheid.org>.



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