Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Letters

JVP’s Attack on Zioness Exposes Their Fear at Our Success

Dear Editor,

In an article published in these pages on Wednesday, Alissa Wise, the Deputy Director of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), attacked the Zioness Movement, a new group made up of those of us who seek to pursue social justice while also embracing our Zionist identities.

Wise’s piece misrepresents both Amanda Berman and our movement, revealing Jewish Voice for Peace’s great fear that our emerging progressive and explicitly Zionist organization has become actively engaged in social justice causes. For too long, groups like JVP have been working to exclude Zionists from social justice spaces, and distort the meaning of the word “Zionism” – which is the liberation movement of the Jewish people.

Just as Linda Sarsour had the right to wear a shirt reading “Palestine vs. the World” to last Sunday’s March for Racial Justice – a gesture affirming her identity – Zioness activists had the right to carry posters that said “Zionists for Racial Justice,” affirming our identities as both progressives and Zionists.

To correct the record regarding Brooke Goldstein’s involvement in Zioness: Goldstein is just one of thousands of supporters of Zioness. She’s a friend and colleague of co-founder Amanda Berman at the Lawfare Project, which is a non-profit law firm and civil rights organization. Amanda discussed her background as a progressive and her work at the Lawfare Project in a recent statement to our community.

The personal attacks in this piece are simply another attempt to advance the narrative that Jews and Zionists cannot be progressive, feminist, or proudly stand up for social justice issues. This notion is divisive, exclusionary, and, ultimately, discriminatory. Real champions of social justice will not seek to force fellow activists to choose between our inherent identities as progressives and Zionists. Zioness will continue to proudly participate in progressive spaces to be active in issues of importance, and to make clear that this is a false choice.

Chloe Valdary and Michael Basch

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning journalism this Passover.

In this age of misinformation, our work is needed like never before. We report on the news that matters most to American Jews, driven by truth, not ideology.

At a time when newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall. That means for the first time in our 126-year history, Forward journalism is free to everyone, everywhere. With an ongoing war, rising antisemitism, and a flood of disinformation that may affect the upcoming election, we believe that free and open access to Jewish journalism is imperative.

Readers like you make it all possible. Right now, we’re in the middle of our Passover Pledge Drive and we need 500 people to step up and make a gift to sustain our trustworthy, independent journalism.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Our Goal: 500 gifts during our Passover Pledge Drive!

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.