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ACT NOW: Tell CADEM Leadership to Oppose Dangerous Litmus Tests

The Progressive Delegates Network, a new project of the California Democratic Party’s  Progressive Caucus, distributed a questionnaire to potential candidates for the Assembly District election that asks them to disavow any restrictions on the “boycott, divestment, and/or sanction of countries that engage in routine human rights violations.” and that they endorse the right of return for any and all refugees. 

Though it does not directly reference Israel, it’s obvious enough to anyone with a basic knowledge of the conflict what these points are referring to.

We agree with a more progressive vision for California and many laudable policies shared by the PDN ADEM candidates.  However progressives who support a Jewish and democratic state and peace between Israelis and Palestinians but oppose discriminatory boycotts must not be forced out of progressive spaces — which is the goal of the PDN questionnaire.

Write a letter to party leadership and Progressive Caucus leadership to let them know these kinds of purity tests are unacceptable! 


OPPOSE DANGEROUS LITMUS TESTS ON ISRAEL

Dear CADEM Leader,

I am writing to condemn the use of litmus tests on Israel to determine who is and isn’t appropriately progressive in the California Democratic Party.

As a progressive and a Zionist, I deeply desire a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and oppose unilateral actions on the part of either party, as clearly illustrated in the July 2020 CDP Resolution 20-03.23.

I see the Progressive Delegates Network questionnaire as a blatant call for anti-normalization of Jews from the party. The vast majority of Jews in America and in California are Zionists and feel connected to Israel. Insisting that the only “true progressives” in the California Democratic Party are people who oppose Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people has the effect of excluding most California Jews from these spaces. Anti-normalization efforts, whether they range from the discriminatory BDS movement or litmus tests like this, do nothing to end the decades long conflict, but do contribute to the harassment and singling out of American Jews

I have profound disagreements with the Netanyahu government. Many California Jews oppose the settlement enterprise and actively oppose those in the US and Israel who make settlement entrenchment possible. I deplored the Trump administration’s empowering of the worst of the Israeli right, while dehumanizing Palestinians.

Progressives who support a Jewish and democratic state and peace between Israelis and Palestinians but oppose discriminatory boycotts must not be forced out of progressive spaces — which is the goal of the PDN questionnaire.
I am asking for acknowledgement by the Progressive Caucus of the CDP and organizers of the PDN questionnaire that their actions have alienated the majority of Jews in the CDP on the condition of their Zionism. This is discriminatory and anti-progressive. I also ask for your commitment going forward to work with the full spectrum and representation of the Jewish community, and not just the narrow minority of Jews who do not support Israel as the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people.

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