Progressive Zionism

What is Progressive Zionism?

Zionism is defined by the Jerusalem Program

The program calls for “Strengthening Israel as a Jewish, Zionist and democratic state and shaping it as an exemplary society with a unique moral and spiritual character,…striving for peace and contributing to the betterment of the world.” This is the credo of Progressive Zionism.

Progressive Zionism, whose ranks include David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, and Shimon Peres, played the leading role in the founding of Israel. When Progressive Zionists immigrated to Palestine, they brought with them a vision of a just and equitable society.  They strove to help make their vision a reality.

-They established a national labor union, the Histadrut.

-They established a national health care system, Kupat Cholim.

-They established communal farms- the kibbutzim- that eliminated economic class structure and that fed the country.

-They established an army with compulsory service for all men and women, regardless of economic class.  They made the army into a vehicle for integrating new immigrants into the society.

-They established a multi-party democratic government with universal suffrage.

We as Progressive Zionists continue to strive to make their vision a reality in our own age.

-We struggle for a state that will promulgate the best in our heritage: a state that is to be both Jewish and democratic.

-We endorse a two state solution: Israel and Palestine living next to each other, secure and at peace.  We believe that negotiations are the only means of achieving this.

-We work to end the occupation and we oppose settlements- based on our commitment to Rabbi Hillel’s Golden Rule: “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.”

-We work to abolish the economic gap between rich and poor in Israel; to realize the vision of Israel’s founders: an economically just society.

-We work to ensure that minorities- Arabs, Bedouins, and other non-Jewish citizens of Israel- receive equal treatment, both legal and socioeconomic.

-We support Palestinians whose homes are threatened by reactionary elements in Israeli society and their supporters abroad.  We raise funds for their struggle and stand with them in public protests.

-We recognize that those who call themselves anti-Zionist are denying for the Jewish people the right to self-determination, a right they accord all other peoples.  We call this by its correct name: anti-Semitism.

-We oppose groups that call for political and economic sanctions against Israel. We confront them in our writings and actions.

-We oppose the bias against Israel in international institutions and organizations. We confront them in our writings and actions.

-We work to establish civil law in place of religious domination of the lives of Israelis in areas such as marriage, divorce, birth ceremonies, and funerals.

-We work to ensure full equality for Israeli women; we oppose gender bias in any form, whether as perversion of religious law, or tacit, as in discrimination in the society as a whole.

-We work to establish the rights of all strains of Judaism to play an equal role in the religious life of Israel.