Lingering Concerns about Progressive Caucus Litmus Test

Progressive Zionists of California (PZC) remains deeply concerned about the litmus tests of Jews and allies contained in the Progressive Delegates Network questionnaire.

On January 26, 2020, the day before International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we launched an email campaign, Tell CADEM Leadership to Oppose Dangerous Litmus Tests, which so far has received over 170 responses. The only response from PDN leadership we have received thus far is a public Facebook post by Margot Tenenbaum, aka Emma Jenson, Parliamentarian of the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party. Ms. Jenson is also one of the organizers of the Progressive Delegates Network and helped write its questionnaire.  

This response, and the response of the caucus leadership demonstrate the problem we outline in the email campaign. Rather than acknowledging the legitimate concerns of many Jews and allies, they minimized them and doubled down on hateful anti-Zionist rhetoric, misinterpreting and lying about our message.  

We understand that Ms. Jenson and caucus leadership felt put-upon by so many responses to this petition. Unfortunately her hateful rhetoric against progressive Zionists in her own party only magnifies the need to bring this issue to the attention of the California Democratic Party leadership. We look forward to re-engaging these timely and important topics. Now is not the time to run from the issue — it’s long been obvious this will not be going away, and fortunately, neither are we.

California Democrats should know that since 2017 more time has been spent in the resolutions and platform committees on Israel and Palestine than on any other issue of importance, including climate change, economic and racial justice, healthcare, housing, and women’s rights. The “Zionists” are not leading this hyper-focus in committees on the one Jewish state.  We are merely responding out of necessity to the same demonizing anti-Zionist rhetoric that is a central organizing principle in the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party and its spinoff, the Progressive Delegates Network.  

Invest in possibilities, don’t boycott them. Litmus tests discourage engagement with hard topics. Sign PZC’s petition today!

About Progressive Zionists of California

Progressive Zionists of California (PZC) is a grassroots collective of activists and California Democratic Party leaders dedicated to reshaping the discourse around Zionism and antisemitism in California Democratic politics. PZC educates activists about antisemitism and intersectional Zionism with a firm commitment to Palestinian statehood. Our constituents advocate for pragmatic progressive platforms, resolutions, and legislation around domestic and Israel-related issues.