Two weeks ago, Sunrise DC—a chapter of the climate action group Sunrise Movement—announced it would not participate in a voting rights rally because of the involvement of Zionist organizations, specifically naming three Jewish groups: the Jewish Council on Public Affairs, the National Council of Jewish Women, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. This decision prompted immediate backlash and provoked a heated discussion: Some critics accused Sunrise of antisemitism for singling out Jewish groups without remarking on the Israel politics of non-Jewish groups associated with the rally, while others argued that the move was not antisemitic but simply unstrategic. Five days later, Sunrise DC put out a new statement apologizing for having “fueled antisemitism,” while also reaffirming a commitment to anti-Zionism and Palestine solidarity. In this episode, editor-in-chief Arielle Angel, culture editor Ari M. Brostoff, assistant editor Mari Cohen, and Jewish Currents fellow Dylan Saba discuss the questions this incident raises about the politics of anti-normalization, the Jewish left’s role in Palestine solidarity, and movement strategy more broadly.
Articles, Statements, and Publications Mentioned:
The Past Didn’t Go Anywhere by April Rosenblum
“Where Did the Past Go?” by Ben Lorber
“Inside ‘the Very Secret History’ of the Sunrise Movement” by Zahra Hirji and Ryan Brooks
“The Politics of ‘Jewface’” by Rebecca Pierce
Thanks to Santiago Helou Quintero for producing and to Nathan Salsburg for the use of his song “VIII (All That Were Calculated Have Passed).” Transcript will be available soon.