Identities and Solidarity
On Anti-Semitism: Solidarity and the Struggle for Justice
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/11/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21714
Book review of On Anti-Semitism: Solidarity and the Struggle for Justice, published by Jewish Voice for Peace.
JVP confronts multiple issues in this collection of essays discussing not only the history of antisemitism and Jewish persecution, but also "how to talk productively about anti-Semitism when so often the accusation of anti-Semitism is used as a cudgel to repress substantive discussion, and whether criticizing Israel is anti-Semitic."
Its response is a resolutely forward-looking project of re-forging a social justice mission in today's larger context where Jewish oppression, although it must be fought wherever it exists, cannot be viewed in isolation. JVP seeks to define its role as a Jewish (although not exclusively so) organization in the Palestine solidarity struggle, where Palestinian voices must have the central position in telling their own story.
In so doing, JVP sees the need to deconstruct the prevailing Ashkenazi-centric perceptions of Jewish identity. It is concerned with recognizing the perspectives of generally silenced non-European Mizrahi, Sephardic and Jews of color, as well as feminist and queer voices.
It recognizes the importance of confronting the reality of antisemitism as it actually is -- not the caricatured establishment construct that identifies denunciation of Israeli practices, let alone any call for a fundamental transformation of the Israeli "Jewish state," as inherently antisemitic.