What Is Zioness?
Zioness is a movement of Jewish activists and allies across the country who are fighting for domestic progressive policies and values. We are proudly progressive and unapologetically Zionist. We are rooted in Jewish values, stand for justice and equality, and fight against all forms of oppression.
Why Do We Need Zioness?
Unfortunately, many American Jews feel unwelcome in progressive spaces, where they are frequently attacked for supporting Israel’s right to exist. American Jews shouldn’t be forced to compromise our identities as Zionists in order to fight for justice in America. And, there is no other organization in America which is both explicitly progressive and proudly Zionist.
We Know What it Means to Be Progressive; What Does it Mean to Be Zionist?
Zionists are people who support the movement for emancipation and self-determination for the Jewish people, the world’s oldest persecuted community, in our ancestral homeland, after millennia of exile, oppression and genocide. Today, practically speaking, Zionism means supporting Israel’s legitimacy as the world’s only Jewish state––a commitment held by the vast majority of Jews in the world.
But People Say Zionism Isn’t Progressive?
Zionism is the original progressive movement––a movement of liberation for a long-persecuted minority, and a veritable miracle in the global fight for justice. Despite efforts to pervert its meaning, Zionism remains both a progressive value and an intrinsic identity for most Jews. Those who claim that Zionism is not progressive are denying an inalienable right to Jews while fighting for it for all others.
What About the Palestinians?
Zionism is a movement for the Jewish people. Being Zionist does not negate one’s right––nor for us, commitment––to hope for self-determination for all other peoples. Zionism is consistent and compatible with other movements for self-determination, including Palestinian statehood. We hope for a time when both peoples can live in peace as part of a two-state solution.
Shouldn’t We Focus Only On White Supremacists, Not The Left?
Historically, Jews have faced violence from both political extremes, although the physical threat to American Jews today comes from white supremacists. Anyone who is truly committed to fighting antisemitism must be willing to fight it anywhere and everywhere it manifests, including when it forces Jews to hide or compromise our identities to be accepted in social justice spaces. Progressives would never accept that type of trauma or erasure for any other marginalized group.
What Are Zioness’s Views On Israel?
Zioness proudly supports Israel and we believe unequivocally in Jewish liberation in a sovereign Jewish state in our ancestral home. We encourage and learn from internal debate, and policy-centric partners, but we do not take any organizational positions on Israeli politics or policies. We also support Palestinian self-determination and two states living side by side in peace.
Why Doesn’t Zioness Take Positions On Israel?
Zioness launched explicitly to reject the false litmus tests about Israel that are imposed on American Jews in some progressive spaces. These tests have made us feel unwelcome, or that we must compromise ourselves to be welcome to participate in movements that directly affect our rights in America. We fundamentally reject and refuse to perpetuate this false choice between our Zionist and our progressive identities. These tests themselves are inherently antisemitic in that they segment “good Jews” from “bad Jews.”
What Does Zioness Do?
Zioness members fight for domestic social, racial, economic and gender justice. We organize inside of our communities in support of, and alongside, all marginalized communities, by taking civic action to support causes that will make America safer, more just, and more inclusive for all.