IfNotNow’s Summer Strategy Update
What we’ve been doing since the Liberation Seders and how it relates to our long-term strategy.
This is the Beginning
This summer IfNotNow has been building for the long fight ahead.
Thousands got their first glimpse at our movement this past spring, when hundreds of IfNotNow members and supporters held Liberation Seders at Jewish institutions across the country. We declared that we cannot celebrate our people’s liberation while we support and maintain an occupation over millions of Palestinians.
That was just the beginning.
But massive, disruptive actions aren’t enough on their own to build a successful movement to change the status quo. Successful movements must harness the energy created through action to bring new leaders into the movement using mass trainings. These new leaders then help build toward an even larger action. Simply put — to build power, we have to grow.
That’s why we focused our energy following our largest action ever on trainings in seven cities — bringing in another 150 leaders to IfNotNow.
Those leaders have gone on to build community and learn together by hosting teach-ins, badass dance parties, and lots of shabbat potlucks. They’ve also planned small, creative actions — like we did in the Bay Area on Shavuot and NYC during the Israel Day Parade.
1,000 Leaders of the Movement
Our decentralized training program has been front and center to our strategy since the beginning, and the goal for the next several months is to ultimately train 1,000 leaders. Bringing in new people and creating communities to take action together is central to our strategy.
Those 1,000 leaders — trained in our unified framework to end the American Jewish community’s support for the occupation — will be equipped to lead the movement autonomously while ensuring unity to our long-term strategy.
Because we know that we will need a powerful, united base of leaders in order to organize the long-term campaigns and massive actions that we know are needed to shift our community’s entrenched, often invisible and unchallenged support for the occupation.
Without a strong foundation, we can never hope to successfully transform the entrenched institutions of the American Jewish community.
To be clear: IfNotNow simply wants our institutions to follow the values they preach publicly and taught many of us in their buildings: a commitment to justice, a belief that we must treat our neighbors as we’d like to be treated, a memory of being strangers in a strange land. We are no more interested in dismantling our communal institutions than we would be to watch them continue supporting occupation.
We’re Building the Foundation for the Movement
Our long-term strategy is structured around escalation through increasingly disruptive campaigns that bring our community’s support for the occupation into the public and grow our power. Each campaign will take on different ways our community supports the occupation through word and deed.
With our generation, we’ll transform Birthright so it can no longer refuse to show us and the thousands of young Jews the realities of the occupation. With our parents, we’ll transform Synagogues so they take down “We Stand With Israel” banners and stop excluding people who refuse to unquestioningly support Israeli policies that further entrench the occupation. With American Jews from across generations, we’ll transform the Jewish Federations of North America so they can no longer financially and politically support for the occupation.
We know that these institutions’ implicit and explicit support for occupation can’t continue without the tacit acceptance of their members. We will gradually increase the pressure until our community chooses freedom and dignity for all Israelis and Palestinians over endless occupation.
We’re in the first phase: building the foundation for the movement.
This summer, we are building the foundation of the movement that will finally challenge our community’s institutions at their root by inviting their members to show us which side they are on.
We are building a foundation that will reject the status quo of silence.
We are building a foundation that will unify across ideological divides and resist the out-of-touch establishment.
We building a foundation that will escalate over the next several years and end our community’s support for the occupation, once and for all.