Contributor Archives: Simone Zimmerman

About Simone Zimmerman

Simone Zimmerman attends the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in Middle Eastern Studies. She loved celebrating Passover at home in Los Angeles and discussing the Jewish value of empathy towards strangers and all who suffer. Simone has traveled several times to Israel, and lived with a family in Tel-Aviv during a three-month program in high school. She spent a summer in Israel on a fellowship during which she took Jewish studies classes, went on eye-opening tours, and was inspired by the possibility of looking at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a Jewish, social justice lens. Already a Hebrew speaker, she is now studying Arabic, hoping to be able to speak to Palestinians in their own language. Simone presented at the Second J Street National Conference hoping to shine a light on an alternative to the destructive, polarizing and extreme positions expressed in campus debates.

BDS at Berkley: an Eyewitness View

Good afternoon. You’ve heard the other panelists discuss the merits of  BDS and whether it’s effective. I recognize that BDS seeks to address serious human rights issues in Israel and the Territories. However, at UC Berkeley, rather than creating discussion, it was my experience that our BDS campaign created a polarizing atmosphere where both sides sank further into the extremes of their positions. I felt that it fostered animosity, squashed nuance, and alienated the rational voices most …

Posted in Personal Stories of Zionism, Israel and Progressive Identity | 11 Comments