Confronting Zionism as Form of Racism at White Privilege Conference 10

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This April 4th, 2009, IJAN was honored to be a presenter in the first annualWhite Privilege and U.S. Imperialism track of the White Privilege Conference.The 10th Annual Conference on White Privilege(WPC) was held this past April 1-4 in Memphis,Tennessee. The White PrivilegeConference is a national, annual, multi-racial conference.

The IJAN workshop, "Confronting Zionism as a Form of Racism," was a 3-hourlong, half-day institute. Its primary purpose was to historicize andcontextualize Zionism in the context of Racism and Imperialism. The workshopwas very well attended with over 30 actively engaged participants in livelydiscussion. (Read More to see the fullworkshop description.)

"Confronting Zionism as a Form ofRacism"

Many of us have been taught to understand Zionism as the struggle of Jewishpeople for a homeland and for safety from persecution. Social justice activistsare often wary of criticizing Israelout of fear of being seen as anti-Semitic, and wanting to be allies with Jewishpeople. Yet for Palestinians, Zionism has amounted to massive theft of land,water, and life for the creation of a state that excludes them, based onethnicity.

In this half-day institute, we will develop a framework for articulating whywe must confront Zionism as a form of racism and colonialism. In doing this, webuild our capacity to ground our work in both Palestinian solidarity and historicalstruggles for Jewish liberation. Participants explore the history of Zionismand the Nakba, (in Arabic the "catastrophe" of the founding of theIsraeli state through the displacement and expulsion of 700 thousand Palestinianpeople). Additionally, participants learn about Jewish histories that existedoutside of and in resistance to Zionism. Finally, we develop tools toarticulate anti-Zionism within a broader anti-racist, liberation politic.

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