How can you be a Progressive and a Zionist?


Aren’t these two ideological positions mutually exclusive? Not at all.

First let’s define what each of these ideologies consist of.

What is a Progressive?

I believe that the Congressional Progressive Caucus are the experts when it comes to defining what Progressives believe. They define a Progressive as one who:

1) Advocates  justice, dignity, and peace for all.

  • Progressives believe that government must be the great equalizer of opportunity for everyone. Progressive House members are committed to passing legislation that advances justice, dignity, and peace for all people.
  • Realizing the goal of a universal, high-quality, Medicare For All health care system for all.
  • Advocating the right of every American to retire with security and dignity.
  • Ending poverty and income inequality and securing a living wage for all people.
  • Protecting the fundamental right to organize.
  • Ending mass incarceration and advancing equal justice under the law.
  • Taking urgent, inclusive, and transformative action on climate change.
  • Upholding the fundamental reproductive rights of all people.
  • Ending our forever wars, cutting the bloated Pentagon budget, and prioritizing diplomacy.
  • Advancing humane, fair and just immigration laws.
  • Advancing racial justice and equity.
  • Tackling systems of oppression and dismantling structural racism and discrimination.

2) Embedded in our nation’s history is a painful legacy of oppression, racism, and genocide. Progressives believe that elected leaders have an obligation to confront this legacy and dismantle the systems of oppression and discrimination that allow racism to persist in this nation. In order for any legislation to be truly inclusive and transformative, it must advance the goal of racial justice.

  • Advocating racial justice and equity in every policy.
  • Supporting a truth commission and reparations to address and repair the continued effects of slavery and discrimination.
  • Transforming our budgets and priorities to reinvest in Black, Brown, and indigenous communities and reimagine the role of institutions that exacerbate injustice and inequality.
  • Challenging harmful stereotypes and efforts that demonize immigrant, Black, Brown, indigenous, and LGBGTQ communities and actively opposing any legislation or policy that marginalizes those communities.

3) Taking on systems that privilege the wealthy and powerful to demand a government and economy that works for the people.

Progressives believe elected officials should be beholden to the people, not to wealthy donors and powerful CEOs. Progressives reject pay-to-play and revolving door politics and fight for a democracy where the power is in the hands of the people, not concentrated among the rich and well-connected. Progressives reject the failed politics of the past that prioritized the deregulation of financial industries and big polluters and tax breaks for the wealthy and big corporations over the well-being of the public. Progressives support bold policies to close the gap between the rich and everyday Americans and ensure our government delivers essential services to every person in this country.

  • Ensuring regulation of industry with strong consumer protections.
  • Strengthening oversight of financial institutions.
  • Democratizing our society by getting money out of politics, eliminating political corruption, and protecting and expanding access to the ballot box.
  • Ensuring that all of our economic and tax policies address or decrease income inequality.
  • Protecting the federal government’s role in delivering essential goods, taking on monopolies, and disciplining markets.

4) A commitment to sweeping, transformative change.

Recognizing that the problems facing this country are enormous, Progressives are committed to delivering solutions that meet the scale of the crisis. Faced with decades of disinvestment in working class communities, unprecedented income inequality, and a federal budget that fails to meet the needs of millions, Progressives believe that Congress must take sweeping action to deliver the bold policies that this moment demands. The challenges facing this nation are structural — and Congress must be deliberate and explicit in dismantling these institutional barriers to prosperity, peace, and justice.

  • Demanding bold and visionary legislation to address the needs in every community and rejecting incrementalist approaches that fail to deliver urgent transformative change.
  • Opposing counterproductive and false narratives on government deficits that have led to decades-long disinvestment in low-income communities, communities of color, families, and working people.
  • Reversing decades-long disinvestment in low-income communities, communities of color, families, and working people.
  • Delivering structural change that unrigs the rules for working people and forces the wealthy to contribute to our shared prosperity.

What is a Zionist?
In general it is a person who advocates for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel.

Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Zionism has come to include the movement for the development of the State of Israel and the protection of the Jewish nation in Israel through support for the Israel Defense Forces.

From inception, Zionists advocated tangible as well as spiritual aims. Jews of all persuasions – left, right, religious and secular – formed the Zionist movement and worked together toward its goals.

The fact is, Zionists have always been Progressives  and this is why Jews have historically taken a liberal stance on social issues and why a majority of Jews in the United States are members of the Democratic Party.

I have read, from people on both the Left and the Right, that  Progressive Zionism is an oxymoron. But these are people who wish to divide the Jewish community by saying a Zionist cannot advocate for Progressive values or that a Progressive cannot advocate for Zionism. But the truth of the matter is that a true Zionist naturally advocates for Progressive values (in fact Zionism itself is a Progressive value) and a true Progressive is naturally supportive of the Jewish peoples right to  a homeland in their indigeonous, historical territories.

For more of my insights regarding Israel and “palestine,” click HERE.