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"Israelism"–The Documentary and an Online Film Salon

"Israelism"–The Documentary and an Online Film Salon

Date(s) - 10/15/2023
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

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On Sunday October 15, join a panel discussion about the documentary “Israelism” at 3 pm ET. Are Jewish American youth awakening to the violence of the occupation? Register to receive free access to the film:

The modern nation of Israel, created by the UN in 1948, is central to the political and cultural life of the American Jewish community. But Israel has also become a deeply divisive subject, as painful generational cracks have emerged within the Jewish community. Points of contention–including Israel’s apartheid policies toward its non-Jewish citizens as well as its oppression of Palestinians living on occupied lands–have led to debate, protest, and even censorship.
Focusing on the stories of two young Americans raised to defend Israel at all costs, Israelism traces their awakening to Israel’s dehumanization of Palestinians and the ongoing violence of the occupation.  The film explores the past, present, and future of the relationship between American Jews and Israel, as growing numbers question whether support for Israel should condition and define their Jewish identity.  Featuring a range of American Jewish thinkers, community leaders and activists, Israelism asks how and why Israel became the cornerstone of American Judaism, what the consequences have been, and what will happen as divisions continue to grow.

Eric Axelman, Director and Producer of Israelism, is a trans Jewish filmmaker who has produced videos for Senator Ed Markey, as well as Congressman Jamaal Bowman. Eric is the Co-Executive Director of Tikkun Olam Productions, which is a progressive multimedia storytelling collective, and executive director of Pushed Learning and Media. For three years, Eric ran the multi-disciplinary high-school hip-hop program at the Wheeler School in Providence, Rhode Island, and has a solo hip-hop album, “Too Much.”

Simone Zimmerman is the central character in the documentary Israelism. In 2014, she helped found IfNotNow which states, “[Will the Jewish American Community] recognize that Palestinian and Jewish safety are intertwined, and join together in the fight for equality, justice and a future for all?” Simone was national Jewish outreach coordinator for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and has worked for a variety of human rights organizations focusing on both Palestinian rights as well as the fight against antisemitism.

Lubna Alzaroo grew up in Hebron, Palestine, before moving to the United States for graduate school on a Fulbright Scholarship. She has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Washington and is currently a part time lecturer at the University of Washington and South Seattle College. Her research is particularly interested in the representation of settler colonial infrastructure, necropower, and the environment in both U.S. and Palestinian literature.

Peter Beinart (Moderator) is Editor-at-Large, Jewish Currents; MSNBC Contributor; Professor of Journalism and Political Science, Newmark School of Journalism, CUNY; Fellow, Foundation for Middle East Peace; and frequent contributor to the New York Times. He publishes The Beinart Newsletter online, writing, “I don’t think the U.S. possesses any inherent right to run the world. If America wants moral authority, it must earn it. And I believe that the best way to secure the safety of the Jewish people, my people, is through equality and justice for Palestinians. I hope these principles foster a different kind of conversation.”

Watch the Trailer:

This is a Voices From the Holy Land Online Film Salon. Cosponsors: Independent Jewish Voices Canada and Northern New Jersey Jewish Voice for Peace


MONDOWEISS covers the
VFHL Online Film Salon of July 16, 2023 about the documentary “My Tree,” filmmaker Jason Sherman’s “attempt to find the tree his parents planted for him in Israel” as a bar mitzvah gift.

WASHINGTON REPORT ON MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS covers the VFHL Online Film Salon about “My Tree” and the Jewish National Fund’s “efforts to uproot the native people of Palestine and reshape their land.”

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