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Jewish Religious Groups Are Urged To Remove Critics Of Zionism

Allan C. Brownfeld, Editor
Special Interest Report
December 2022

There is a growing effort to stifle free speech within the American Jewish  
community. Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) calls  
for a battle inside Jewish religious denominations against Jews who oppose  
Zionism, a group which is growing dramatically in number.  
He spoke to the World Zionist Congress in August in Basel, Switzerland and  
declared that “anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.”  
He lamented that “even some Jews traffic in it” and that this “threat” must be  
confronted. He declared: “In the political context today there is no doubt that  
anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. And we must reckon with the fact that there are  
anti-Zionists within the Jewish community. We must be honest and acknowledge  
that reality. But the reality is just because you are Jewish doesn’t exempt you  
from trafficking in anti-Zionism…We have got to deal with this openly…This will  
be a fight.”  
David Wolfe, a Conservative rabbi in Los Angeles endorsed the idea of a battle  
against anti-Zionists in religious orders at the same August conference. He  
said that, “Sinai Temple takes the largest delegation to the AIPAC conference  
every year of any synagogue in the country We have an absolutely unapologetic  
Zionist commitment…It’s true in America, as you know, Zionism is a word that  
often draws tremendous ire, but it’s a battle that is important for Jews to  
After author Gil Troy, a columnist for the Jerusalem Post, decried the fact that  
Conservative rabbinical students can get a degree at the Jewish Theological  
Seminary and not commit to Zionism, Rabbi Wolpe endorsed the battle inside the  
Conservative movement: “Of course, you fight the battle in your own house.”  
Mondoweiss (Oct. 12, 2022) notes that, “Wolpe and Greenblatt are trying to stop  
the tide: young Jews who are giving up on Zionism, with sizable numbers saying  
they believe Israel is an apartheid state.”  
Zachary Lockman, professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and History at  
New York University, in an interview with MERIP, the Middle East Research and  
Information Project, provided this assessment: “The Jewish community—-the  
organized, very Israeli-connected Zionist mainstream organizations—-think they  
don’t have as much power as they did because the community has changed. Younger  
American Jews don’t care about those big organizations. They may or may not  
belong to a local synagogue, but the synagogues themselves have changed.”  
In Lockman’s view, “Younger American Jews are shifting. I think there’s been a  
sea change. Segments of the American Jewish community were actively hostile to  
Zionism. Into the 1930s and 1940s, Reform Judaism was formally opposed to  
Zionism. Polls show that a good chunk of the younger generation don’t feel much  
connection to Israel, or are critical of it, have no great desire to visit. The  
assaults on Gaza horrify a lot of people. The asymmetry of power and violence  
and death is hard to miss.” **

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© 2010 The American Council For Judaism.