, 64 tweets, 27 min read Read on Twitter
At the @MM_JCCManhattan for a conversation between @bariweiss @BTselemUSA brand new US director @simonerzim @AJCGlobal @AviMayer and @tabletmag editor at large (?) @CarlyPildis.
.@simonerzim wow. Explaining why she is sitting in this seat. On the power of encountering Palestinian families evicted from their homes in Sheikh Jarakh, seeing for the first time the meaning to Palestinians of the 🇮🇱 flag, I can’t really summarize in a tweet how powerful. Watch
@AviMayer: American and Israeli jews don’t get each other. Sees himself as a translator. Wants to mend the relationship.
@CarlyPildis talks about growing to find intolerable an intolerance toward Jews in social justice spaces.
@CarlyPildis doesn’t want there to be litmus tests in social justice movements and wants inclusion (for Jews).
@bariweiss asks about “the closet” 🧐closeted jews. None of them are gay, all of them are Jewish — and Zionists, closeted in progressive spaces.
.@bariweiss wants to know who is responsible for “sullying” the word Zionist. (Ed: not closeted).
.@AviMayer says he thinks it’s Soviet /Stalinist propaganda. Thinks the word Zionist has been turned just into a code word for “Jew.” Based notion in correlation in study between those who advocate boycott and antisemitic views.
.@AviMayer embraces closet metaphor and says that “it gets better” — and that Zionism and progressive values are perfectly complimentary.
@CarlyPildis says she hears from Jewish folks young and old who feel scared and sad about [existing as a jew in America].
.@simonerzim says framing of “Zionism” as meaning only as the right of Jews to exist in Israel is disingenuous because we are living in an age of @realDonaldTrump and @netanyahu.
My grandfather was a Zionist and escaped from Nazi occupied Warsaw to pre-State Palestine. And I get why he desired to live freely in Israel. But there is another reality we have not reckoned with:
There is another people that lived in that land. It’s actually the government of @netanyahu that says that Zionism means denying fundamental rights to the Palestinian people.
That’s what the @netanyahu government is telling us it means to be a Zionist today.
Sure maybe it can be uncomfortable and scary sometimes to be a Jew in progressive spabes, but I would say be in those spaces, share your authentic story and refuse to be a tool of the abuses that occur in the name of Zionism. —
Advice from @simonerzim
The white nationalist movement which is led by @realDonaldTrump is aided and abetted by the Israeli right. Yes there is antisemitism on the left, says @simonerzim.
Just as there is sexism and homophobia and islamophobia on the left. The difference is says @simonerzim that these prejudices hurt the left, while they are the political fuel of the right.
.@CarlyPildis points out that antisemitism existed before 1948. Believes that the emergence of a Palestinian state would not end antisemitism.
.@CarlyPildis agrees with @simonerzim that @realDonaldTrump fuels hatred and division and profits off of it to secure power.
@realDonaldTrump made its campaign about fueling nativist xenophobia and building a wall. Who paid the price? Jews at prayer. @realDonaldTrump and white nationalism is a danger.
.@CarlyPildis think we cannot defeat the lethal threat of white nationalist terrorism if our social movements are divided over #antisemitism.
On antisemitism @simonerzim rejects notion that because antisemitism has existed forever, immutable, there is nothing we can do about it, and just have to opt in or out.
You’re right, @simonerzim tells @CarlyPildis we can’t defeat white nationalism without a powerful left movement. That means we have to face the ways our pain and trauma is being weaponized by the right.
Credits intellectual contributions of @JFREJNYC and @BulldogShadow on theory.
@CarlyPildis and @simonerzim are agreeing on a lot about cynical manipulation by the right of antisemitism.
But @CarlyPildis says that we wouldn’t be so susceptible to manipulation if social justice movements weren’t allowing antisemitism to persist.
@simonerzim surveys the crowd and says this is disingenuous because she sees Jews here from @JFREJNYC @womensmarch @IfNotNowOrg who are in hard and messy conversations within social justice movement.
.@simonerzim, says she’s not here to defend or oppose Zionism, but center the fact that right now there are five million people living under the control of Israel who cannot vote in the election that will determines their fate.
.@simonerzim says that the left wants to talk about this. And it should be talking about this.
.@AviMayer accuses @simonerzim of erasing Palestinian agency in the current dynamic (in which 5 million Palestinians are not enfranchised), in a manner which is frankly offensive to Palestinians.
.@CarlyPildis would love to be out there criticing the @netanyahu government more stridently but feels she can’t because the anti-Zionist left coopts this.
.@CarlyPildis we’re not going up to Chinese Americans to hold them accountable for the Chinese government’s persecution of Muslims in Western China. Holding American Jews accountable for actions of GOI is an incredibly violent act.
.@bariweiss broaches the @HouseDemocrats resolution condemning anti-S, says formerly this would have united our community, but not now.
.@AviMayer says of @IlhanMN he feels heartbreak because he wants to root for Ilhan as a descendent if refugees. He’s deeply disappointed he can’t support her tho he wants to be aligned with her.
The fact that we don’t have unity says @AviMayer about calling out antisemitism is deeply disappointing.
This resolution is NOT an attempt to really address antisemitism in this country. It is an attempt to partisanize the issue of tolerance and take away the vision of an inclusive America from the @TheDemocrats.
.@HouseDemocrats are trying to fend off this strategy ahead of 2020. @CarlyPildis is angry at @IlhanMN for putting Dems in this position. Because Dems are better on AS. They are better on racism—they are not perfect.
@bariweiss summarizes @CarlyPildis perspective: the bill itself is politicized, but that being said it’s important for democrats to pass.
@simonerzim says no. @IlhanMN controversy is not about accountability to antisemitism because Republicans who have blatantly engaged in AS have not been held accountable.
.@simonerzim says this is really about preventing women of color who are leaders in #Congress from upsetting the status quo on Israel.
.@simonerzim rejects the notion that the whole reason that Americans support Israel is because of Jews. That’s antisemitic. It also has to do with power of militarily industrial complex, white Christian evangelical identification with ethno-nationalist Israel.
.@simonerzim asks why is it that week after week our community finds itself going after women of color and civil rights leaders like Angela Davis and Michele Alexander and @marclamonthill et al.
.@bariweiss asks (incredibly not loaded) question: why are we soft peddling @IlhanMN vagrant antisemitism.
.@simonerzim it’s dangerous to conflate “all Jews” and Israel. There has been a raucous debate over Jewish history over Zionism and its a shande to flatten that debate. It erases our history.
We cannot conscript all Jews into the fight to defend the government of israel’s and its policies of occupation. That’s a fundamentally dangerous proposition for Jews says @simonerzim.
.@bariweiss distinguishes between theoretical opposition to a future state as an anti-Zionist bundist and a contemporary anti-Zionist, akin to deciding not to get pregnant or abandoning a child.
.@simonerzim says she does not identify as an anti-Zionist and it’s a shame that our community cannot hear from an anti-Zionist Jew or a Palestinian about what that word means to them because of our community’s redlines.
That being said, this conversation is happening utterly outside any relationship to reality of perpetual occupation — this was a rough summary of @simonerzim. Trying to keep up.
.@AviMayer says he wants a two state solution and thinks the situation in the West Bank is deeply unhealthy for Israel, and troubled by situation, but thinks Israelis are not responsible for the situation alone.
.@AviMayer it’s not inconsistent to be a Zionist and want a Palestinian state. It’s reductive to equate Zionism with this or that Israeli policy.
.@bariweiss asks @simonerzim if she feels she was lied to in her Jewish education.
@simonerzim our community spends extraordinary amounts of money to train people to be propoganditsys on behalf of the state of israel and to police the discourse on what can and cannot be said.
To say that we want a different future, but can’t do anything about it, is to deny the incredible amount of agency and resources — and immense privileges — that we do have.
@AviMayer the Jewish establishment needs to do a better job encouraging hard conversations.
.@simonerzim is asked this question: Palestinians have rejected various peace deals what do you make of that?
She responds that is a false narrative that we have been sold. Under the guise of two state solution, GOI had expanded settlements, has entrenched a status quo that makes 2SS impossible, and our community has been complicit in this even whole giving lip service to 2SS @simonerzim
.@bariweiss responds to @simonerzim question about why, the year when Jews were murdered in their synagogue by white supremacists why were spending all of our time talking about antisemitism on the left.
.@bariweiss reiterates her contention (which I personally find outrageously offensive) that the antisemitism on the left is more insidious than violent antisemitism on the right.
And because “you all” [panelists] are on the left.
.@simonerzim says no. The antisemitism of Victor Orban and the white supremacist right, which the Israeli right has been aiding and abetting, is the threat. And the left needs to keep its eyes on the prize to defeat it. (Needless to say #imwithher).
Recalling: @simonerzim closing was extremely powerful. What gives her hope she said is the rising, vibrant Jewish left and fact that while uncomfortable that many are beginning to have hard conversations and grapple with the moral crisis of perpetual occupation.
I think this was an interesting moment -- and a point by @CarlyPildis worth responding to, separately and substantively.
Last tweet: If you found this discussion engaging and provocative, I can't imagine a more apt compliment than upcoming @NewIsraelFund panel at @CBST: "Next Generation of Jewish #Activists" feat. @ShevGoldberg @joshualeifer of @DissentMag Daniel Roth + Karen Isaacs of #AchvatAmim
I lied, here's the link. bit.ly/2tUTZdf
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