What an extraordinary week it’s been. The Zioness community showed up across the country to stand proudly and unequivocally to advance social justice as progressives, Jews and Zionists. From Seattle to San Jose, from Minneapolis to Boston, from New York to Austin, our Zioness communities stood together and marched together in allyship with marginalized communities.
Our teach-ins in Los Angeles, DC and New York City gathered committed, diverse progressive activists for long overdue conversations about what real solidarity and allyship looks like in social justice spaces. These were the beginnings of a powerful, long-term conversation, and Zioness could not be more proud to lead the way.
Our community showed that we are comfortable being uncomfortable. We know that democracy only works when we show up for each other, even when it is hard. Yet, we also believe that speaking truth to power begins by speaking truth.
This weekend, we also saw how much work we have left to do to fight bigotry and intolerance in progressive spaces.
Women’s March Inc. and their associates have taken every chance to try to divide women. They set up a competing “march” in New York City. They perpetuated modern blood libels by claiming that the Jewish community is “waging war” on the African American community. They mocked Democratic Jewish leaders for their decision not to participate in their march in Washington. They used their media platform to attempt to erase Jewish indigeneity to the land of Israel.
This is not progressive or inclusive. This does not reflect the values of the progressive or the Jewish community. These self-appointed leaders are intentionally communicating to all Jews that we cannot be allies or receive allyship in this moment unless we allow ourselves and our struggles to be defined and imposed by others.
And even in spaces like the Women’s March Los Angeles, that we were sure modeled true inclusivity, our Zioness community was deeply hurt by the words of inflammatory speakers, who used their air time to attack our Zionist values. Many of our faith leaders and representatives felt forced to leave. We have reminded leaders of WMLA that a women’s movement without Jews is a women’s movement that will fail.
No other community is subjected to the same treatment––and the Jewish community will no longer allow ourselves to be subjected to it, either. Zioness is empowering and activating our community by rejecting the litmus tests imposed on us and refusing to be ostracized from the movements that we’ve led from their inception. We will continue our fight for a more equal America by standing alongside the many incredible and sincere progressive leaders who have stood with us.
Our work will continue to challenge this narrative. Will continue to show up and speak out. We will be at the table, working to advance social, racial, economic and gender justice in America––and we will continue to reject the suggestion that anyone else can speak for us.
If you agree, please share this with the hashtag #ZionessSpeaksForMe!