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Ameinu
Founded2004; 20 years ago (2004)
Location
Key people
Kenneth Bob, President
Websitewww.ameinu.net

Ameinu (Hebrew: עמנו, "our people") is a left-wing American Jewish Zionist organization. Established in 2004 as the successor to the Labor Zionist Alliance,[1] it is the continuation of Labor Zionist activity in the United States that began with the founding of Poale Zion,[2] which came together in the period 1906.[3]

History

Established in 2004 as the successor to the Labor Zionist Alliance,[4] it is the continuation of Labor Zionist activity in the United States that began with the founding of Poale Zion,[5] which came together in the period 1906.[6]

Activities

Ameinu's work focuses on people-to-people Jewish-Arab projects in Israel. After the 2023 Hamas-led attack on Israel, the group most intensely focused on navigating a left that was increasingly hostile to Israel.[7] Ameinu has established strategic partnerships with Israeli organizations to foster a deeper connection between American Jews and Israel and to financially support the organization's work.[8] NISPED (the Negev Institute for Strategic of Peace Development) addresses economic development and cooperation between Arabs and Jews living inside Israel as well as between Israelis and Palestinians.[9] Yedid: The Association for Community Empowerment, operates self-empowerment centers in towns and small cities throughout Israel serving the weakest populations of Israeli society.[citation needed]

By 2022, Ameinu had a staff of one-and-a-half people and an annual income of $357,000.[7]

In February 2024, Ameinu announced plans to merge with left-wing Zionist group Americans for Peace Now (APN). The two groups' leaders stated the merger would enable the groups to complement each other. APN does advocacy in Washington and maintains ties with the Israeli peace movement, while Ameinu liaises with the Jewish left and engages more closely with national Jewish groups. For 15 years, both groups had generally been overshadowed by more prominent liberal Jewish group J Street, which serves as the flagship of the liberal Zionist movement in the United States.[7]

Positions

It has been described as left-wing,[10][7] liberal,[11] and progressive.[12][7][13][14] It is part of the left-wing of the Israel lobby in the United States, alongside Americans for Peace Now, Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, Israel Policy Forum, J Street, and the U.S. branch of Meretz. These groups favor diplomacy, engagement, negotiations, and concessions over the use of diplomatic isolation and/or military force. They want the United States to take a leading role to establish a Palestinian state, even if it means pressuring Israel. Peace is more important than strong United States-Israel relations.[10]

Ameinu advocates within the American Jewish community around a variety of issues. In the past, Ameinu has taken positions in support of Israeli–Palestinian peace initiatives[15] such as the Geneva Accord and the People's Voice, in support of the Israeli disengagement from Gaza,[16] opposing divestment from Israel,[17] condemning calls by Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for the destruction of Israel, in opposition to the destruction of Bedouin villages in Israel, criticising Reverend John Hagee's anti-Catholicism, and on other issues. In 2007 Ameinu took a leading role in organising a pro-peace rally in Annapolis at the time of the Annapolis Peace Conference convened by President George W. Bush.[18] In 2008, the organization published a booklet entitled "Progressive Zionist Answers to the Anti-Israel Left" for use in communities and on campuses.

In 2022, Ameinu signed a statement alongside other liberal Jewish groups Americans for Peace Now, Bend the Arc, Habonim Dror North America, New Israel Fund, T'ruah, and the Religious Action Center condemning a plan by Kevin McCarthy to remove Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee over her comments appearing to compare the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban.[11]

Youth and student affiliates

Ameinu provides funding for Habonim Dror North America, a Zionist youth movement. Ameinu co-founded the Union of Progressive Zionists student organization and provides funding for its activities as well.

Associations

Ameinu is a member of umbrella organizations Progressive Israel Network[12] including the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, American Zionist Movement, Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Ameinu is the United States affiliate of the World Labor Zionist Movement and cooperates actively with its sister organization, Ameinu Australia.

References

  1. ^ "An Anti-BDS Warrior Finds His Cause". Archived from the original on 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2012-04-06.
  2. ^ Deborah Beck, Ameinu Philadelphia Advocacy and Information Organization Founded, The Philadelphia Jewish Voice, PJV #15, September 2006. Accessed 2017-08-02.
  3. ^ Detroit, Ameinu. "Ameinu Detroit records". quod.lib.umich.edu. Retrieved 2023-01-20.
  4. ^ "An Anti-BDS Warrior Finds His Cause". Archived from the original on 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2012-04-06.
  5. ^ Deborah Beck, Ameinu Philadelphia Advocacy and Information Organization Founded, The Philadelphia Jewish Voice, PJV #15, September 2006. Accessed 2017-08-02.
  6. ^ Detroit, Ameinu. "Ameinu Detroit records". quod.lib.umich.edu. Retrieved 2023-01-20.
  7. ^ a b c d e Kampeas, Ron (2024-02-15). "Left-wing Zionist groups Americans for Peace Now and Ameinu to merge". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved 16 February 2024.
  8. ^ "Partners". Ameinu. Retrieved 2023-01-20.
  9. ^ "Want To End Israeli Occupation — Without BDS? This New Guide Tells You How. - The Third Narrative". Retrieved 2023-01-20.
  10. ^ a b Waxman, Dov (Summer 2010). "The Israel Lobbies: A Survey of the Pro-Israel Community in the United States". Israel Studies Forum. 25 (1): 5-28. Retrieved 16 February 2024.
  11. ^ a b Schnell, Mychael (2022-12-13). "Liberal Jewish groups push back on McCarthy plan to remove Omar from committee". The Hill. Retrieved 16 February 2024.
  12. ^ a b Sharon, Jeremy (2021-01-13). "Progressive Jewish groups oppose codification of IHRA antisemitism definition". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 16 February 2024.
  13. ^ Rosenfeld, Arno (2021-06-15). "Is J Street unwelcome in the American Zionist movement?". The Forward. Retrieved 16 February 2024.
  14. ^ Goldberg, Elisheva (2023-05-03). "Liberal Zionists Test the Efficacy of the World Zionist Congress". Jewish Currents. Retrieved 16 February 2024.
  15. ^ Ameinu (2007-04-19). "Academics: Sign the Mission Statement of JANIP: The Jewish Academic Network for Israeli-Palestinian Peace". Ameinu. Retrieved 2023-01-20.
  16. ^ Goldberg, Jonathan (January 20, 2023). "The Gatekeepers" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on November 26, 2020.
  17. ^ Staff, Ameinu (2017-03-07). "Israel Delegitimizes Itself with BDS Ban Law". Ameinu. Retrieved 2023-01-20.
  18. ^ "Annapolis braces for a range of protests". The Jerusalem Post | JPost.com. Retrieved 2023-03-30.