Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Keynote at The 2010 U.S. Assembly of Jews from One Democratic State Group on Vimeo.


Q&A for opening panel of US Assembly of Jews Confronting Racism and Israeli Apartheid 2010 (standard def) from Intl Jewish Anti-Zionist Network on Vimeo.



Mich Levy, US Assembly of Jews Confronting Racism and Israeli Apartheid 2010 (standard def) from Intl Jewish Anti-Zionist Network on Vimeo.

Barbara Lubin, US Assembly of Jews Confronting Racism and Israeli Apartheid 2010 (standard def) from Intl Jewish Anti-Zionist Network on Vimeo.

Sara Kershnar, US Assembly of Jews Confronting Racism and Israeli Apartheid 2010 (standard def) from Intl Jewish Anti-Zionist Network on Vimeo.

USPCN speaker, US Assembly of Jews Confronting Racism and Israeli Apartheid 2010 (standard def) from Intl Jewish Anti-Zionist Network on Vimeo.

Kali Akuno, US Assembly of Jews Confronting Racism and Israeli Apartheid 2010 (standard def) from Intl Jewish Anti-Zionist Network on Vimeo.

Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi

Rebab Abul-Hadi, US Assembly of Jews Confronting Racism and Israeli Apartheid 2010 (standard def) from Intl Jewish Anti-Zionist Network on Vimeo.

Selma James, US Assembly of Jews Confronting Racism and Israeli Apartheid 2010 (standard def) from Intl Jewish Anti-Zionist Network on Vimeo.


Raphael Cohen

Poet, US Assembly of Jews Confronting Racism and Israeli Apartheid 2010 (standard def) from Intl Jewish Anti-Zionist Network on Vimeo.


Safety team presentation, US Assembly of Jews Confronting Racism and Israeli Apartheid 2010 (standard def) from Intl Jewish Anti-Zionist Network on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What is the work of the IJAN academic network? Why are we organizing as anti-Zionist Jewish academics?

The Jewish anti-Zionist Academic Network (JAZAN) formed within the context of the International Jewish anti-Zionist Network in order to bolster academic participation in the Palestine Solidarity Movement broadly and within institutions of higher education in particular. As such, the academic network’s purposes and goals are multi-pronged.

Teachers, researchers and writers who work on university and college campuses engage with political justice both ideologically in our own work and materially in collective struggle—as such the academy is a site within which there is potential for Zionist discourse to be de-legitimized and Zionist militarism to be strategically opposed.

As Jewish anti-Zionist academics and as part of broader communities, we are committed to:

  • Broadening and deepening anti-Zionist discourse and putting forward alternative visions
  • Opposing the misuse of charges of anti-Semitism that frequently occur in an academic context
  • Supporting Palestinian, Arab, Middle Eastern and Muslim anti-imperialist faculty, staff and students
  • Working with students on campuses who are organizing in SJP chapters and engaging in BDS campaigns
  • Supporting students and faculty who are doing critical scholarship opposing US imperialism, racism and Zionism
  • Engaging in mutual teaching and learning through intellectual collaboration
  • Challenging academic hierarchies and forms of competition and refusing to police one another within the neo-liberal academy
  • Exposing how the policies and investments of the University are linked to Zionism and other violences
  • Articulating linkages to other ongoing critical forms of struggle, including solidarity with indigenous, black and anti-racist struggles, and struggles to abolish the military-prison-industrial-complex

Join us in the following projects planned for the next year:

§ Developing a communications network of anti-Zionist Jewish people in the academy who can discuss our work and the broader politics of Jewish anti-Zionism in the PSM, while we connect and support one another

§ Working on a collection of papers coming out of the US Assembly of Jews Confronting Israeli Apartheid and Racism

§ Meeting and presenting at academic conferences, in such fields as Ethnic Studies, American Studies, Sociology, Modern Languages, Feminist/Queer Studies, Middle East/North Africa Studies, and more

§ Participation in writing articles, statements, analyses, background documents to support IJAN campaigns and work:

· A campaign to challenge the Zionist exceptionalizing and exploitation of the Nazi genocide of Jews

· A report to expose the Jewish National Fund and a series of papers on Jewish opposition to the Zionist construction of Jewish nationalism that the JNF is founded upon

· Discussion of the principles and processes toward decolonizing Palestine that may allow for the emergence of a just society

Interview with Mich on RT America

Excerpts from Workshop: Pan-African/Palestine Solidarity

Excerpts from Workshop: Pan-African/Palestine Solidarity from 2010Assembly on Vimeo.

In this workshop, participants laid out the history of Pan-African solidarity with global anti-colonial struggles, including Palestine. The hope was to develop some action steps around Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions within a Pan-Africanist framework and network. The discussion moved from Pan-Africanism to the experiences of anti-Black racism within Jewish communities, the constant fear/reality of being called anti-Semitic for calling out that racism and calling out the criminality of Israel, the need for group study around the history of this phenomena, and the need for developing a strong base in order to end the Israeli occupation and apartheid.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Culture Jamming for BDS

This slideshow synthesizes a presentation about the work of Bay Area guerilla artists strategically taking BDS messaging to the streets.

Campaigns and Areas of Work

Follow the links to the audio streams of the afternoon panel:

Building the JNF Campaign in the United States: Miriam Marton

Anti-Zionist Jewish Theory, Discourse and Popular Education: Brooke Lober and Jessie Benjamin

New developments in the movement from, highlighting a port action that stopped Israeli goods from being shipped for 24 hours: Monadel Herzallah

Sara Kershnar gives an update on the up-to-the-moment, organizing against the zionist propaganda group called "Stand With Us," and its attempts to infiltrate and divide the left by having a presence at the social forum.

Excerpts from Workshop: Anti Zionist Education

Sharing and Developing our Best Practices: Anti-Zionist Education from 2010Assembly on Vimeo.

The purpose of this workshop was to bring together people who have been facilitating workshops, presentations and trainings around the impact and origins of Zionism. Participants shared best practices and resources, and discussed the strategic use of education to shift people's analysis and move toward building power and organizing toward Anti Zionist ends.

Workshop led by Celia Kurtz and Perry Bellow-Handelman.

Excerpts from Workshop: Islamophobia and the Jewish Location

Islamophobia and the Jewish Location from 2010Assembly on Vimeo.

The workshop description is as follows:

The US post 9/11 context has resulted in an outpouring of fear, hatred, discrimination and exclusion directed at Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians, which has come to be termed "Islamophobia." Additionally, regardless of the fact that the oldest Jewish communities in the world are in the middle east, Jews and Jewish identity have been constructed in opposition to the Muslim "other," resulting in an almost inexorable relationship between the two identities, and certain assumptions about each of the group's relationships' to things like loyalty/ citizenship, enlightenment values and whiteness. All of us who care about becoming strong Jewish allies to Palestinians need to uncover the issues this juxtaposition raises: how can we reconcile our traditional understandings of Jewish oppression with our current privilege? How do we assert non-European Jewish identities that serve to foil the idea of Jewishness being equated to whiteness and Jewishness (such as biracial Jews and Mizrachim)? How do we start to methodically untangle the ways our identity has been implicated in the hostile, often perilous climate Muslims have had to face over the past decade? Given that so much attention is paid to Jewish experiences of oppression, how do we address this reality without hyperfocusing on Jews and erasing the experience of Muslims and Arabs facing extreme marginalization? This workshop will consist of an introduction to the post-9/11 climate in the US for Islam, Muslim, Arab and South Asians, a discussion of the roots of their experience, and an examination of how Jews have both been constructed within and participated in this marginalization.


Comments about spiritual and cultural Reclamation Sector: by Jonah Aline Daniel

I would like to start by acknowledging the land that we are on- land that still belongs to pottowotamie, ojibwe and ottowa peoples. thank you.

Welcome everyone. We are here to talk briefly about the work of jewish anti-zionist spiritual and cultural reclamation and creation, as a political project. A group of us have been organizing programming around these topics and we’re excited to continue this building with you here- at the workshops and organizing meetings, in conversations one on one, and of course far into the future.

The logic of Zionism lives on an emotional level- accessing and exploiting fear and trauma to garner blind support for its ongoing genocidal colonial project. Even in a very tender open conversation with my justice-oriented mother about Zionism, we couldn’t get much past her teary “what about safety for jews?”
My jewish education has told me that Israel is my spiritual home, that I must look to somewhere far away ive never been, to be authentically jewish or authentically spiritual. I understand now that Judaism becomes mine through my engagement with it, more powerfully and authentically in the places that I call home than anywhere else. The more connected I am to that place, to the land and the ecosystems and the struggles of indigenous people whose land it still is, the more powerful my practice and my work are.

And I understand that my safety and the safety of other jews around the world depends upon our ability to build true and honest alliances and solidarity with communities struggling for justice, and the lies and destruction of Zionism- inside of me and out in the world prevent me from building those alliances.

Because of the emotional level on which Zionism feeds, strategies for challenging and unlearning Zionism must include engagement on a heart and spirit level.

We seek to form and widen cracks in the narrative and power of Zionism by building radical vibrant Anti-Zionist Jewish culture and spirituality, that fuel and mobilize powerful accountable organizing, that support us, and that acts as a point of entry into this work for new folks. We are engaged in the work of reclaiming our spiritual and cultural lives and histories and futures from Zionism.

We remind ourselves that Zionism and the state of Israel is a relatively recent event in the course of Jewish history. A strong set of ethics and a commitment to an ethical existence and world have been a core part of Jewish communal life over time. We draw inspiration from the many legacies of powerful Jewish political participation and resistance.
We locate ourselves within movements that assert that Jewish texts are living documents that we have the right to access and reinterpret and to make relevant to our modern world. We are also inspired by our tradition’s support for action, debate and justice, for challenging and questioning always.
And we want to know:
What legacies inspire you? What traditions do you draw upon?

The work of extricating Jewish culture and spirituality from Zionism is urgent and necessary for the political project of challenging and dismantling the state of Israel. Creating and participating in radical liberatory jewish spaces can also be a part of our healing process from anti-Jewish oppression, generations of trauma, and the violence of Christian dominance, hegemony and appropriation, as well as from Zionism, patriarchy, homophobia, and marginalization within our own traditions and communities.
We are engaged in joint struggle for collective liberation with Palestinians and everyone impacted by the ideologies and violence of Zionism.

For many of us, our commitment to justice comes from a deeply spiritual place.
And the relationship between our political organizing and the political project of spiritual and cultural reclamation is not always easy to navigate.
Because our anti-zionist politics so often exclude us from Jewish institutions, seemingly forcing us to choose between political integrity and Jewish community and spirituality, and because much of the left does not support the realm of the spirit, we must claim and create space for ourselves.
We are reclaiming and creating new texts, prayers, traditions, rituals, and creative culture.
We are engaged in spiritual and cultural tradition both as a means for furthering our political organizing and as an end in and of itself, as relevant political projects with inherent value.
Jewish practice can offer wisdom, structure, inspiration, and renewal in what can be an exhausting and draining work and lives. A connection to jewish ritual and tradition can help us to be whole people and more effective agents of change.

We are very excited about the many possibilities of mobilizing our social location strategically and powerfully as anti-zionist jews struggling in the realms of spirituality and culture. One idea includes Interfaith organizing with people of all backgrounds, in resistance to Dominant Christianity and against Zionism, anti-arab racism and widespread Islamaphobia.
We will continue the work of developing spiritual practice and cultural resistance that propel us to accountable action for a free Palestine. There will be space at this assembly to engage the power and possibility of this organizing. Some questions for us to engage together are:
• How can our anti-zionist cultural, religious and spiritual leaders (and we, as our own leaders) be a left pole and a call to action for cultural, spiritual and religious communities?
• In what way can cultural and spiritual perspectives strengthen and bolster campaign work?
• How can we create cultural and spiritual spaces and public ritual that are empowering and mobilizing and have material effects on ending Zionism?
• And very importantly what does it look like to hold ourselves accountable to Palestinian self-determination and to the jewish legacies from which we come?

For those of us who engage with it, our culture and spirituality, and our political work are not separate. Let us move forward whole and with our full selves... deeply rooted and nourished by moments like this assembly and the broader movements it is a part of.

Recalling the generations, we weave our lives into the tradition

The Political Moment; On Countering Islamophobia

Fahd Ahmed gave a frank talk on the United States Left’s lack of support for Muslims, and the hypocrisy of historically working with Christian Liberation Theology movements and indigenous religious movements of the Americas, but not Islamic political movements. There is a double standard for Islam on the Left, which takes the form of our political movements basically demanding that Muslim movements should be secular or nationalist, without any aspect of religion on display. Fahd strongly told the crowd that mass movements in the Muslim and Arab worlds, which have internal forms of accountability, should be respected and communicated with- not dictated to with ultimatums.

While state-sponsored action against the Muslim community in the US was a real problem before the 9/11 PATRIOT Act era, the lack of political support for Muslims in this moment is an immediate issue that activists need to take on now. Islamophobia is fueled by US policies in the Middle East, in particular the US relationship with Israel. The active role we can take on in this country as an essential part of the political movement against Israeli apartheid and US imperialism is to support the Muslim community that is still being harassed by the state. Otherwise we are neglecting a community that is organizing without support, and living in fear and isolation.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sectors Speak: Labor and Jews of Color

Sectors Speak from 2010Assembly on Vimeo.

On Sunday Evening, representatives from the labor and Jews of Color Caucaus announced the work they're doing and invited attendees to their Monday sessions.

Audio From the Opening Panels

Part 1: Click Here:

Part 2: Click Here.

The opening panel was moderated by Mich Levy and Barbara Lubin, and panelists consisted of Sara Kershnar who spoke about The Role of Jewish Anti-zionist Organizing as part of the Palestine Solidarity Movement, anti-racist, anti-imperalist struggles in the US; Andrew Dalack who spoke about the role of Anti-Zionist Jewish organizing in support of Palestinian grassroots movement in the US; Kali Akuno who spoke about solidarity and joint struggle with anti-racist, anti-colonial, and anti-imperialist movements within the US; Rabab Abdulhadi who spoke about gender justice and anti-colonial resistance: centering justice, confronting racism; and Selma James who spoke about the state of the movement: what it takes to organize as anti- Zionist Jews internationally and in the US.

Check out the video excerpts on an earlier post!

Workshop in Focus: Queer and Feminist Politics, and Jewish Opposition to Zionism

Excerpts from Workshop- Queer and Feminist Politics, and Jewish opposition to zionism from 2010Assembly on Vimeo.

This morning's workshop moved from theory to on-the-ground action.

Brooke Lober began the morning by contextualizing the current work of queer and feminist opposition to Zionism, unpacking the historical constructions of race, gender and sexuality within Judaism. She highlighted the opportunities that we have to separate, or 'delink,' the notions of Judaism and Zionism, via building new personal and collective practices of our identities.

Sue Goldstein detailed the fight that Queers Against Israeli Apartheid is mounting in Toronto, Canada. Currently, the crew of Queers is being pushed out from representing their political beliefs by an ever-more corporate, neoliberal, and tourism-centric Pride.

Dunya Alwan presented on the up-to-the-minute organizing efforts of Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism (QUIT) and a group of guerrilla artists out of the San Francisco Bay Area, and shared on the trans-national efforts of queers in the U.S. and queers in the Middle East to disrupt the presence of Stand With Us, an Israeli propaganda project, that slipped under the door to have a workshop at the US Social Forum.

The text from Mich Levy's Opening Talk Can be found at:

Excerpts from Workshop-Contemporary Jewish Anti-zionism: Placing it in History

Excerpts from Workshop- Contemporary Jewish anti-zionist: Placing it in History from 2010Assembly on Vimeo.

Opening Panel

Excerpts From Opening Panel from 2010Assembly on Vimeo.


More than 200 elders, youth, artists, educators, and activists packed the small theater of the Furniture Factory last night for the Opening Plenary of the US Assembly of Jews: Confronting Racism and Israeli Apartheid. Hailing from as far north as Montreal and as far south as Buenos Aires and ranging in age from 6 to 76, one theme binds the Assembly attendees: "An explicit commitment to supporting Palestinian self-determination and to anti-Zionist, anti-racist, and anti-imperialist politics and practice" (from the Assembly's Goals, Assumptions, and Expectations). This historic event marks the first national (and arguably hemispheric) gathering of anti-Zionist Jews, a powerful movement moment that one of the evening’s featured speakers, Kali Akuno of Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and US Human Rights Network, called "long overdue." Over the course of the evening, a chorus of voices from the stage and the seats spoke of the histories of resistance that buoyed participants into the Assembly, and also of the importance of remembering that anti-Zionist, anti-racist, and anti-imperialist organizing must always be led by and accountable to the grassroots of the struggle, those who are fighting daily to throw off the chains of their oppression.

While the Assembly is geared towards anti-Zionist Jews, the contributions of Palestinians, non-Jewish movement leaders, and allies have been crucial in realizing the vision of the gathering. The Michigan Peacemakers will provide security support throughout the Assembly, and last night's program was held in a Palestinian-owned space. Hasan Nawash of Dearborn's Palestine Cutural Office welcomed the Assembly's participants to Detroit, which is home to the largest Arab population in the country. Nawash, whose family were evicted from their home in Ein Karem (now part of West Jerusalem), spoke of the resilience of the people of Palestine, noting that "giving up is not in our dictionary," and reminded the attendees of the important contributions Jews like Ilan Pappé and Norm Finkelstein have made to the struggle for the liberation of Palestine. Andrew Dalack from the local chapter of the US Palestinian Community Network reminded the audience that Palestinian voices are the "heartbeat" of the Palestine solidarity movement, and everyone must work to create space for those voices.
Feminist activist and scholar Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi, cofounder of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Associations in North America, spoke of the ways in which “feminism” has been used by imperialists to dictate what the experiences of colonized women should be. When colonizers define women exclusively as caretakers and forces of peace, women who struggle against occupation and its supporting ideologies such as Zionism can only be seen as repressed and backwards victims of colonized men in their society. Abdulhadi stood strong on the basic premise that any colonized woman or man has the right to fight their oppression, and colonizers don’t have the right to dictate the terms of that struggle.
Kali Akuno talked about the need for solidarity with ongoing struggles for sovereignty and self-determination within the US, and the crucial task of reclaiming civil society from the nonprofit-industrial complex, which pits organizations against one another and discourages paid activists from doing necessary movement-building work that is not always popular with foundations and other granting organizations.

Some Assembly attendees feel somewhat conflicted about attending a gathering specifically for anti-Zionist Jews. Barbara Lubin, the founder of the Middle East Children's Alliance spoke openly about the discomfort she feels in attending an anti-Zionist conference geared towards Jews. She told the audience that she looks forward to the day when she can attend a conference designed for all anti-Zionists. Many attendees and organizers agree with this sentiment, and speak of the Assembly as a precursor to the US Social Forum, where Assembly organizers and participants will lead and attend a variety of sessions focused on Palestinian liberation in addition to other anti-racist and anti-imperialist struggles throughout the US and around the world.
Sara Kershnar, a founder of the International Jewish anti-Zionist Network, another of the Assembly's sponsors, emphasized that Jewish allies are not the grassroots of the struggle for Palestinian liberation, and must understand their role as one of solidarity with the grassroots of the struggle. However, Kershnar noted that anti-Zionist Jews have their own complaints about Zionism. She explained that Zionism separates Jews from the rest of humanity by convincing them that anti-Jewish sentiment will always exist. But "the Assembly is comprised of Jews who are interested in being a part of humanity," she said, and "when Jews let go of our own exceptionalism, it means seeing ourselves as a part of a history and a broader struggle for justice." Celebrated activist, author, and elder Selma James pointed out that Zionism "cuts [Jews] off from their traditional position of struggling with those who are struggling."

More than 4 hours after the start of the plenary, the theater inside the Furniture Factory began to empty as organizers packed up Assembly merchandise and put away folding chairs and tables. As most of the participants filtered out into the lobby, around 50 stayed behind to participate in a short havdalah. Candles were lit and the lights were dimmed, and the group took a series of collective deep breaths. Then, with thoughts of the tremendous work to come in the days ahead, fifty voices rose to the candle-lit ceiling: shavua tov, they sang, a gut voch. Wrapping themselves in the ceremonial glow that has bound 6000 years of tradition and the languages that have come to represent so much about oppression and resistance, fifty Jews from across the US held each other and swayed, preparing for a challenging, inspiring, and movement-building week.

By Emily Ratner and Greg Hom

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Getting Started in Detroit!

Getting Started in Detroit from 2010Assembly on Vimeo.

As the 2010 Assembly of Jews Confronting Racism and Israeli Apartheid begins today in Detroit, a few participants explain their reasons for attending.

Friday, June 18, 2010

More than 200 Jews gather for historic anti-Zionist Assembly

As an estimated 30,000 people across the United States prepare to arrive in Detroit for the second US Social Forum, more than 200 attendees will be arriving the weekend before, for the first-ever US Assembly of Jews Confronting Racism and Israeli Apartheid. The Assembly comes at a critical moment in the history of Jewish social justice and solidarity efforts. While Jewish American opinion on Palestine has been shifting for years, the brutal Israeli attacks on Gaza in the winter of 2008 and 2009 sounded a warning to Jews around the world and especially in the US, which gives roughly $3 billion in aid to Israel each year: The occupation and the Zionist ideology that supports it have claimed tens of thousands of Palestinian lives and displaced hundreds of thousands more, and are dividing Jewish communities around the world. And despite pressure from family and Jewish community, a growing number of Jews are speaking out against Israel's occupation and apartheid practices.

While the Assembly arises out of the need to address a brutal colonization perpetuated in the name of Jews around the world, attendees are motivated not only by Israel's historic and recent crimes against Palestinians, but also by a legacy of struggles for justice, and the Jewish ancestors who dedicated their lives to those struggles. Influenced by the crucial roles Jews have played in labor, civil rights and anti-apartheid movements, Assembly attendees are rooted in a rich Jewish history of anti-racist and anti-imperialist organizing. And as Palestinians continue their 62-year resistance against colonization, these Jews look to the people of Palestine to guide their organizing. The more than 30 sessions at the Assembly attest to these influences, with subjects ranging from "The State of Palestine and the Region—Zionism, Imperialism and Resistance" to "Deepening our Anti-Zionist Practice: Transforming Legacies of Trauma, Drawing from Legacies of Resistance."

The Assembly is also shaped by a broad array of speakers and facilitators, including Palestinian presenters like Ziad Abbas, Associate Director of the Middle East Children's Alliance and cofounder of the Ibdaa Cultural Center in Dheisheh Refugee Camp in the West Bank, and Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi, longtime feminist activist and scholar, and cofounder of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Associations in North America; Jewish presenters like Middle East Children's Alliance founder Barbara Lubin who has dedicated decades to anti-imperialist struggle, and journalist Gabriel Ash, who grew up in Israel and now works with a number of organizations focused on Palestinian liberation. Kali Akuno of Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and the US Human Rights Network will speak about anti-Zionist Jewish organizing in solidarity with anti-racist and anti-colonialist struggles within the US, and Fahd Ahmed will address Islamophobia and the role of allies in defending communities targeted by Islamophobia.

The Assembly and the commitment to anti-Zionism that frames it inhabit a complicated space within the spectra of Jewish and Palestine solidarity thought and organizing. Jewish voices have long been privileged over those of Palestinians in the US discourse on Palestine. Mainstream media outlets perpetuate this phenomenon by continuing to turn to Jewish intellectuals, politicians, and pundits to inform media debates about the occupation, as well as the unending stream of federal administrations that have stocked their cabinets and staff with Jewish and Christian Zionists to determine foreign policy on Palestine and throughout the Middle East.

The Assembly is designed to offer a multifaceted approach to addressing this unrepresentative dynamic. Jewish attendees will find resources and inspiration in their efforts to support the crucial work of Palestinians towards defining and realizing their own liberation, both by attending the Assembly and the Palestine track at the Social Forum. Participants will also focus on reclaiming the rich and varied legacy of Jewish resistance, which has been appropriated and repurposed by Zionism's exclusionary ideology, robbing Jews of their identity and redefining the ways they relate to the world. Last, attendees will share skills and information that will strengthen the crucial solidarity work they're doing in their own Jewish communities, where efforts to further the growing boycott/divestment/sanctions movement against Israel and to reframe the Jewish debate around Zionism and occupation can frequently be met with cries of antisemitism.

But Jews who work for justice in Palestine are frequently accused of self-hatred and antisemitism, and the attendees of the Assembly are no exception. Diatribes against the Assembly and its organizers are already starting to appear on right-wing blogs alongside banners accusing President Obama of potentially "backing jihad" and article topics such as "Confronting Europe's War on the Jews." While seething rhetoric against Jewish Palestine solidarity activists is hardly newsworthy, these rants and the blogs that post them underline the importance of the Assembly: As a growing number of Jews are questioning and challenging Zionism, the exclusionist ideology that has largely driven Jewish political thinking for more than 100 years is starting to crumble within Jewish communities and the halls of power: around Shabbas and Seder tables, in the writings of Jewish columnists and journalists, and someday, behind the closed doors of US foreign policymakers. Even without significant attention from mainstream media outlets, the more than 200 who will attend this year's Assembly will return to small anti-Zionist Jewish communities who are anxiously awaiting their report-backs, and by this time next year the growing Jewish anti-Zionist network will be buzzing with hundreds more activists, intellectuals, and artists, a thriving wing of the ever-expanding global Palestine solidarity movement.

Two weeks ago, thousands of Jews joined Palestinians, Muslims, Arabs, and others in an international day of solidarity with the besieged people of Gaza and the passengers aboard the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla. Jewish writers and bloggers have helped to dispel the onslaught of Israeli propaganda that continues to fall short of tricking the world into believing the Flotilla passengers were anything other than unarmed peace activists, fully committed to liberation for the people of Gaza and all of Palestine. As Israel continues to expose itself to the world as a perpetrator of unending violence and war crimes against the Palestinian people, the Assembly offers a space to strategize about the supporting role Jews can play in realizing the vision for justice that Palestinians have been building for more than 60 years.