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Why Millennial Zionists are Telling Bibi Where We Stand

Why Millennial Zionists are Telling Bibi Where We Stand

U.S. flag on the left that blends into Israeli flag on the right

Young American Jewish Zionists have something to say to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – and we’re doing our best to make sure our voices are heard.

Next week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the annual AIPAC Policy Conference, where he will speak directly to North American Jewish Zionists, Christians Zionists, and the broader American public.

In advance of his address, more than 250 North American Jewish millennial Zionists signed an open letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu.

As activists and leaders in our Jewish communities and organizations, we wrote to express our collective concerns and discontent with the policies, actions, and rhetoric of the Israeli government – and how they make it increasingly challenging for us to do the important work of partnering with all who seek a Jewish, democratic, and secure Israel.

Our letter focused on three key points of discontent with the prime minister’s leadership: his recent courting of the Otzmah Yehudit (Jewish Power) party, a racist, far right-wing party banned from the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) in the late 1980s; the ongoing lack of religious pluralism and recognition of all streams of Judaism within Israel; and the growing movement to annex the West Bank.

Our aim was to state, clearly and publicly, both our support for Israel and our deep concern for the actions of its current government – and to call on the prime minister to address these worrisome challenges.

We wrote, in part,

“We hope you receive this letter in the spirit of constructive dialogue and recognize how some of your government’s policies both strain our connection to the Jewish State and hamper our ability to advocate for Israel’s well-being.

We believe that failing to address these issues in a meaningful way will be detrimental to both of our communities and could seriously erode support for Israel among our generation of U.S. Jews, thereby threatening the sustainability of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.”

The Union for Reform Judaism, the largest movement in North American Jewish life, is proud to have worked with the Israel Policy Forum to facilitate this important statement in advance of the prime minister’s upcoming conference address. As a Zionist movement, Reform Judaism is deeply committed to Israel and the American-Israel relationship – and as young people who represent the future of North American Judaism, we know it is incumbent upon us to do everything within our power to strengthen and advance Israel’s well-being in the decades to come.

Want to add your name to this important statement from North American Jewish Zionist millennials? You can sign the letter at through Tuesday, March 26, 2019.

Sam Rubin is the presidential executive fellow at the Union for Reform Judaism. Prior to this role, Sam lived in Warsaw, Poland, as a Fulbright Research Fellow, where he studied Polish-Jewish relations and contributed to The Forward.

Sam Rubin
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