Liberal Zionism: An Introduction

From a textbook that may or may not exist

Chapter 1 =Statements on How to be a consensus liberal Zionist=


  1. I feel a deep passion towards israel and it defines my relationship with Judaism
  2. Israel’s existence is a miracle, especially the pioneering kibbutzim where social justice is not a mere theory and tikkun olam is not just an idea, but a practiced in a dynamic living beautiful colorful amazing diversity
  3. As part of my love for Israel and Zionism, I feel it is central to the Jewish peoplehood and Jewish culture to wrestle with and critique Israel
  4. We as Jews must always be willing to challenge and wrestle with Israel, just as parents show their children tough love, we must show Israel tough love.
  5. Organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews for Justice in Palestine, Jews Against Zionism, Anarchist Jews Against the Fence, Justice-Seeking Palestine-Jews, Jewish Social Justice Activist Network on Palestine, Anti-Zionist Jewish Coalition must be engaged and invited to events, because a closed door is never the answer, rather dynamic engagement and support for Jews who critique is needed.
  6. As Jews and third generation descendants of Holocaust Survivors we have unique knowledge of suffering and what it means to be victims and through that we know that supporting Palestinian human rights, indigenous Bedouin human rights and rights of asylum seekers in Israel is part of the central Jewish mission of Tikkun Olam.

    Morality and justice are key words

    Morality and justice are key words

  7. We support Israel’s right to defend itself while deploring the loss of human life in Gaza.
  8. It is essential to reach out to authentic Israeli civil society initiatives, such as Breaking the Silence, Shatil, Abraham Fund, Al-Haq, ACRI, Peace Now, B’Tselem and volunteer for these amazing and beautiful organizations who strive everyday to fulfill the mission of social justice and human rights that liberal universalistic humanist Judaism embraces.
  9. We must understand that Israel’s actions fan the flames of anti-semitism abroad and be willing to speak out against Israel in order to show that not all Jews are silent in the face of Palestinian suffering, while affirming Israel’s right to exist within the 1967 lines.
  10. We as Jews invented morality and because we are the chosen people it is important to hold Israel to the highest moral standards so that it can fulfill the mission of being a light unto the nations; it is important therefore to judge Israel not like other countries, but to always challenge, wrestle with and engage Israel in frank discussion and show tough love so that its liberals can be strengthened and making the country the shining example that it once was in the 1950s when it was one of the most egalitarian countries in the world and an inspiration through its kibbutz movement for the whole world.

    Liberal Zionist iconography

    Liberal Zionist iconography

  11. Israel is increasingly threatened by dark anti-democratic forces of religious and right wing extremism and is becoming increasingly a racist and insular society; we must focus on helping those few voices in Israel who support a strong civil society, separation of religion and state and the rights of women to the public space, where recently they have been expelled by chauvinist ultra-Orthodox forces.

    Talking point: The Orthodox threat

    Talking point: The Orthodox threat

  12. We, as Jews, must atone for the sins of the Israeli right and ask how we, as Jews, can commit murders in the name of religion, like the horrific killing of Mohammed Abu Khdeir. We as Jews must apologize for this tragedy, just as we also speak out against the harm in Gaza and make kaddish for the dead there.
  13. As liberal Jews we feel increasingly alienated from an Israel that is chauvinist and increasingly religious and extreme and does not honor the peace process or support Palestinian moderates; Israel should heed our warnings because we are an essential part of supporting Israel and if we are not listened to than Israel will lose us forever.


Chapter 2: How to talk like a liberal Zionist: iconography, ideology, history

Einstein was ambivalent on Israel

Einstein was ambivalent on Israel

  • Key words: Einstein, Hannah Arendt, Brit Shalom, Ahad Ha’am
  • Discussion question: How can Jews who were victims of the Holocaust morally struggle with the notion of Jewish power over another people?




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