This pamphlet is intended for any American Jewish college student who is confused about the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestiture and Sanctions (BDS) movement and conflicted about what it means to be loyal to human rights values while also remaining loyal to Judaism and the Jewish people.
It is also an important resource for their parents and grandparents who are worried about their young adult children’s Jewish identity and bond with the state of Israel as they are confronted with anti-Israel demonstrations on college and university campuses across the United States.
This booklet offers a way for American liberal Jews who love and support the state of Israel to continue to do so despite their discomfort with specific Israeli policies, the Israeli political right’s control of the Israeli government, and American Jewish alienation from segments of the organized American Jewish community that considers progressive Zionist values and positions to be anathema to the pro-Israel camp.
Finally, this pamphlet is for American conservative and right-wing Zionists who believe that American liberal Jews have been duped by the left about Israel and consequently have become, in the view of the conservative right, part of the anti-Israel camp.
“The Third Narrative: Progressive Answers to the Far Left’s Critiques of Israel,” will, regardless of your positions, values, worries, and fears, offer you an opportunity to consider a different pro-Zionist position.
This 25-page pamphlet was produced by Ameinu (Heb. “Our People”), a national, multi-generation community of progressive Zionist North American Jews that believes that “a secure peace between Israel and its neighbors is essential to the survival of the democratic Jewish state.” Ameinu is committed to a “negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
The pamphlet addresses most of the accusations leveled against Israel by the international BDS movement, by the international media and on the web, on college and university campuses, and in other settings.
Its introduction notes:
“Some of these attacks come from the far left, from activists trying to appeal to Jews and non-Jews who are committed to human rights and social justice. Often, these critics are not just attacking specific, objectionable Israeli policies and behavior. They treat Israel as the epitome of evil. They portray the entire Zionist enterprise…as nothing more than a racist, colonialist and immoral land theft.”
The pamphlet addresses the following key questions:
• Is Israel an “Apartheid State?”
• Is one, bi-national state a solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict?
• Is pro-Israel and progressive an oxymoron?
• Should Palestinian refugees and their descendants be granted the “right of return?”
• Should boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel be encouraged?
• Does Zionism = racism?
• Is “ethnic cleansing” inherent to Zionism?
• Does the pro-Israel lobby have a stranglehold on the U.S. government?
It is important that all of us be able to respond to these questions not just from the perspective of the Israeli and American Jewish political right, but of the Jewish progressive left as well.
I highly recommend this important contribution to the discussion about Israel and that you share it with your high school and college-age children, grandchildren, and friends (Jewish and non-Jewish) alike.