To frame this problem of a lack of progressive alliances between the two groups, Ben Sasson expressed frustration about the power that many American Jews wield in Israel without being connected to efforts on the ground. He emphasized how American Jews “construct an image of Israel” that we can fit into our own identity, neglecting to interact with Israelis, politics, or truths that don’t match our image. He personally believes that there is a tendency of both rightwing and leftwing American Jews to see Israel not as a polity but as a place to express our personal values. “You think this is your moral Disneyland,” he said.
In June of this year, I had the opportunity to interview, with AJPA Director Aliza Becker, one of the leaders of this movement: renowned journalist, activist, and human rights advocate Anat Saragusti. We met with Saragusti at the central public library in Tel Aviv. She spoke about the dreams, challenges, ideology, and strategy of this singularly powerful activist movement. As the group embarks on their latest venture, and as we stand in the wake of our Jewish season of reflection and commitment to change, we thought that there is no better time than now to share these reflections from one of WWP’s leaders.