The 2010 U.S. Assembly of Jews, a national conference held in Detroit in late June, began at an unusual hour for a Jewish conclave: late on a Saturday afternoon. It wasn’t the most accommodating move for participants who observe the Sabbath, but then, the conference’s organizers may not have expected any: This was the first major gathering of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network. Given that the term “anti-Zionist” is an epithet to many in the organized American Jewish community, one might assume that any American Jew who’d schlep to Michigan to discuss strategies for “decolonizing Palestine” would fall outside that community’s religious and cultural margins as well.
This is the first conference of the two-year-old International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, a still-obscure organization (though one now on the watch list  of some mainstream Jewish organizations) with a moniker echoing those of long-defunct groups, like the Jewish Communist Labor Bund , that tethered Jewish specificity to the international left. For many of the young Jews who turned out in Detroit—most en route to the U.S. Social Forum, a major activist expo  that was held in the city later that week—the Assembly seemed to promise a distinctly Jewish space in which to engage in or try on the ideas that Zionism does in fact equal racism and that only a one-state solution can mean justice for Palestinians—regardless of whether they take such a hard line in their day-to-day lives.
Some of the attendees said that they wanted a more Jewish life. They found it by hating Israel and standing up for the Arabs, they said.
One of them,Aaron Levitt, 40, a former board member at West End Synagogue, a Reconstructionst congregation in Manhattan, who left the shul after several years of trying to unmoor it from allegiance to Israel (and who was not at the conference),
helped start a non-Zionist minyan this year called Page 36 with fellow Jewish pro-Palestinian activists including a young Reconstructionist rabbi, Alissa Wise—not, he said, because he ultimately wants to pray only with political comrades, but as a kind of stopgap measure while truly “Zionist-neutral” congregations remain few and far between. At the same time, he added, the minyan was inspired by frustration with what he sees as a lack of interest among many of his coreligionist political comrades in aspects of spirituality and peoplehood that go beyond Jewish-flavored universalist politics.
“I care about Palestinians as much as anyone else,” said Levitt, “but I’m engaged in all this stuff because I care about Jews and Judaism.”
Tell it to the Jews who are daily being killed by our enemies.