2008 Revised Syllabus

International Jewish anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)STUDY GROUP SYLLABUS

This is an evolution of the curriculum that was usedby study groups in 2007-2008. The intention this syllabus is to build ananalysis of the historic and current ideologies, conditions and realities ofZionism and imperialism and resistance to both. The curriculum has beenreorganized to develop this analysis, offer tools for integration andapplication of the study material, develop participants ability to translateanalysis into strategy and into action and build relationships for jointstruggle against Zionism.

The syllabus below is a work in progress; there is aspace at the bottom of the syllabus for you to post suggestions for additionalsessions or about the ones suggested below, as well as on materials andcurricular tools for the revised study. This syllabus and the accompanyingmaterials will be ready for use early next year. If you would like to organizea study prior to next year, please feel free to use this draft and/or lastyear's syllabus.


Please contribute your ideas below!


SESSION 1: Introduction to IJAN, why weare here, and getting to know each other



  • The IJAZ Network Founding Charter, Organizing Principles, and Points of Unity (Organizing principles may also be referred to or utilized throughout the course of the study group)


Notes: This session should orient new people to what IJAN is,including our history, current moment, strategy, structure, organizingprinciples and points of unity. It can also be a time for personal historiesand why we as individuals are here. It a place for us to get to know each otherand our histories in context to Zionism.


Curricular Tool:   Life andpolitical mapping about our relationship to our Jewish histories, Zionism,anti-Zionism, and Palestinesolidarity.


SESSION 2: Zionism as Imperial Project


Notes:This session provides a definition of Zionism and historicalframework, gets into the historical moment, and we'll do something on definingterms and historical materialism, dialectic, and contradictions. Also anopportunity to then identify the historical moment in the context each studygroup is exploring anti-Zionist politics within.

CurricularTool: Mapping of historical moment at international,national and local levels.


SESSION 3: Theories of and Approaches toLiberation, Part 1

SESSION 4: Theories of and Approaches toLiberation, Part 2


Potential Readings for Sessions 3 & 4:

  • "Introduction" (pp.1-7) and "From Eurocentrism to Polycentrism" (pp. 13-27) in Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media, by Ella Shohat and Robert Stam 
  • "The Forgotten "-ism": Arab American Women's Perspective on Zionism, Racism, Sexism" by Nadine Naber, Eman Desouky, & Lina Baroudi in Color of Violence: the Incite! Anthology ed. INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence
  • "Palestinian Women and the Intifada: Fighting on Two Fronts," Eileen Kuttab, Arab Studies Quarterly, V.15, No.2, Spring 1993.
  • Franz Fanon, excerpt from Wretched of the Earth
  • Introduction to historical materialism and the concept of contradictions


Notes: The purpose of these sessions is to locate anti-Zionistpolitics within other liberation ideologies and movements. Some of theideologies we would like to explore are Marxism and historical materialism,anti-colonial struggles (Fanon, Amilcar Cabral, Nawal el-Saadawi, pan-arab movements etc.), self-determination politics ofindigenous liberation movements, Zapatismo and horizontalism, and questions onmilitancy versus pacificism (Fanon, Amilcar, Ward Churchill, Leila Khalid filmand feminist analysis on this question), feminism and liberation struggles(Nadera Kevorkian).


Curricular Tools: Tools for understanding and mapping thecontradictions of Zionism and US imperialism. SOUL's mapping of nationalisms(Session 3). Intersecting forms of oppression and movements of liberation inrelationship to Zionism (white supremacy, male supremacy and heterosexism,Christian supremacy and Islamophobia, economic exploitation and class,Ableism). Can use world café style discussion and/or a mapping exercise(Session 4).


SESSION 5: Zionist History/Politics: Howdid Zionism develop and achieve power?



  • "Zionist Orientations" (pp. 7-21) in Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict, by Norman Finkelstein
  • Excerpts from A History of Modern Palestine, Ilan Pappe
  • Israeli Declaration of Independence
  • Excerpts from primary Zionist texts: (maybe don't include this, since they are in the Finkelstein article)
    • "Altneuland" by Theodore Herzl
    • "The Iron Wall" by Vladimir Jabotinsky
    • "The Truth from the Land of Israel" by Ahad Ha'am


Notes: This session provides the foundation forunderstanding and recognizing the development and consolidation of Zionism as apolitical ideology and to start sharpening critical analytic tools.


Curricular Tools: We can use the chartdeveloped by previous study group members to map different historic strands ofZionism and their current manifestations, as well as start a historicaltimeline of Zionism.


SESSION 6: Zionist History from the perspective ofPalestinian Resistance until 1967



  • "Introduction" (pp. xv-1) and "Popular Memory and the Palestinian National Past," (pp. 1-37) in Memories of Revolt: The 1936-1939 Rebellion and Palestinian National Past by Ted Swedenburg
  • "Between Nationalism and Feminism: The Palestinian Answer," Orayb Aref Najjar


Notes: We may add another article but instead ofa lot of readings we'd like to ask people to spend time with an on-line toolthat we hope to create based on a lecture by Michel Shehadeh about Palestinianresistance to Zionism from the late 19th century through the 1960s.


Curricular Tool: Map timeline ofPalestinian resistance in relationship to other movements for liberation andthe growth of Zionism.


SESSION 7: Which other histories does the Zionistmeta-narrative erase?



  • "Introduction" (pp.1-16), Comrades and Enemies: Arab and Jewish Workers in Palestine, 1906-1948, Zachary Lockman
  • Section 5 and 6 in the Introduction (13-27) and the Postscript to Chapter 4 in After Jews and Arabs: Remaking Levantine Culture, Ammiel Alcalay
  • "The Weight of History" (pp. 50-74), Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of 3000 Years, Israel Shahak
  • "The Invention of the Mizrahim" by Ella Shohat
  • "30 Years to the Black Panthers in Israel" Sami Shalom Chetrit, view at http://www.kedma.co.il/Panterim/PanterimTheMovie/EnglishArticles.htm
  • The Bund, article and handout on the history of the Bund


Notes: Find a readingto include on the Bund, and left tradition among European Jews.


CurricularTools: Mappingof non- and anti-Zionist movements and histories.


SESSION 8:Divesting from Zionism, How have we as Jews been implicated? How can weapproach the historical trauma of Zionism through a transformative justiceframework?



  • "The Affective Economy of Zionism" by Ryvka Bar Zohar
  • Excerpt from Judith Hermann on Trauma and Resilience
  • Excerpt from Said's writings on the Palestinians as the "victims of the victims"
  • Writing by Palestinian women on the impact of Zionism and colonialism and their resilience and resistance to it


Notes: Purpose ofsession is look at emotional investments in Zionism and the process of unlearningit as also a process of transforming our narratives and relationships to thehistory of Jewish trauma and persecution.


CurricularTools: Ashort piece on typical responses to trauma and how we see these in Zionism aswell as in Palestinian resistance and in our own anti-Zionist organizing.Exercises to practice effective responses to the typical responses toanti-Zionism in our own families, communities, and organizing.


SESSION 9:Understanding Palestinian Resistance 1967-now





Click here to download the 120-report which exposes the funders of Zionist backlash on campuses and in communities