Our Purpose, Goals, Assumptions & Expectations for the Assembly
What is Zionism?
Zionism is a political movement that supports the on-going 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.
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 that 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.
- 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.
- 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
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. Because we hold ourselves accountable not just to each other but to the communities of Detroit and to principles of anti-oppression, we ask all participants to resist systems of oppression, including racism, gender oppression, ableism, classism, and homophobia, not just in our political work and at the Assembly but also in interpersonal dynamics and in all spaces we occupy. We share collective responsibility to name and challenge these dynamics in ways that build and do not divide our movement.
Community Principles and Expectations:
- Practice our commitment to a just and humane world in treating each other with respect and dignity.
- Take responsibility for helping to create a space where we accomplish the Assembly’s goals.
- Respect ourselves and each other by making sure all of our interactions are consensual.
- Challenge abuses of power and systems of oppression with strategies based on accountability and healing.
- Mind our impact by demonstrating respect for the venues and housing sites, the neighborhood, greater Detroit community, and the environment.
- Check our assumptions about who people are, how they identify, and what their life experiences have been.
- Share one mic by listening carefully, not interrupting, and making room for those share the assembly goals and assumptions and respect our shared expectations to participate.
- Honor Confidentiality by assuming information about participants is private unless told otherwise.
The first ever Jewish Anti-Zionist Assembly against Racism and Israeli Apartheid welcomes credentialed journalists. We have established guidelines to ensure the widest and freest flow of communications between participants at the Assembly.
Assembly Media Conduct:
All public sessions are open to observation by journalists. Workshop and plenary speakers may be quoted publicly. However, comments by individuals who are not listed as part of the program, should be considered anonymous unless arrangements are made to secure their release for a quote.
Interviews will be made available upon request. All requests should be made through the Assembly’s media liaisons. Daily briefings will also be made available.
Journalists will be issued press badges at the registration table to wear at all times within the Assembly.
Journalists are expected to abide by the Assembly’s code of conduct (Community Principles and Expectations) while within the Assembly.