Progressive Visions for a Zionist Future

Categories: Israel, Jewish Identity, Letters From Leadership, Personal Stories of Zionism, Israel and Progressive Identity, Two States, Zionism

EmmaPostI am a Jew.

I am a Zionist.

I am a Feminist.

I am a Socialist.

I believe in the innate value of every human being.

 

These facets of my identity are not contradictory. They exist within me as one holistic entity. They are expressed in my thoughts, my ideas and my daily actions.

 

I believe in the right of the Jewish people to self determination. I also believe in the right of the Palestinian people to self determination. I believe that these two states can live side by side with Jerusalem as their shared capital.

 

I am a Zionist. I believe that the Jewish State should care for and provide for its growing elderly population. I believe that the Jewish State should not discriminate against people due to the color of their skin. I believe that the Jewish State should provide quality education for all of its children. I believe that the Jewish State should allow for multiple and creative expressions of Judaism. I believe that the Jewish State should provide basic health care for all its inhabitants. I believe the the Jewish State should encourage women and girls to be active in all aspects of society. I believe that the Jewish State should support those who are unable to care for themselves.

 

Zionism was never about the creation of a Jewish State, period. Zionism has always been about creating a Jewish State according to a certain vision. Israel has been established, but in what image?

 

Fellow Zionists who believe that Zionism and the innate value of every human being are inseparable values, we have work to do. This is not the time to lose faith, become downhearted nor surrender. This is the time to hold on tight to our vision of Zionism and fight for its survival.

 

How? Supporting a Progressive Zionist organization e.g. Ameinu, is a simple, accessible and immediate act. If you have the means, I strongly encourage it. But the real deal, the place where you can exact direct change, is in Israel. Move to Israel. Vote in israel. Be progressive in Israel. Be socially active in Israel. Be tolerant in Israel. Be diverse in Israel.

 

Imagine if 1 million progressive Jews were to move to Israel over the next 10 years. Seriously! Imagine it for a moment. Imagine the possible impact. An extra million people demanding racial equality, peaceful coexistence, gender equality, quality education, environmental protection, social and cultural sustainability. Imagine the energy, ideas, innovations and resources that 1 million people comprise and their impact on surrounding society.

 

This imaginary future of 1 million progressive partners joining me in Israel fills me with an intense feeling of hope. I need you. We need you. The soul of Israeli society is in mortal danger and you hold restorative powers. Come and join us in building up the progressive voice in Israel. Together we can shift the current momentum. Together we can make a difference.

 

Emma Grant-Rosenhead

 

Emma grew up in England, a member of Habonim-Dror, and made aliya 18 years ago. She is a founding member of kibbutz Mishol, the largest urban kibbutz in Israel, where she lives with her partner and 3 children.

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