Our Principles

These principles are our basic agreements that bind us together and define us as IfNotNow. Actions that violate these principles are not IfNotNow actions. It is all of our responsibility to ensure that they are followed by every member of IfNotNow.

We seek to end American Jewish support for the occupation. The occupation is a system of violence and separation by which Israel denies Palestinians freedom and dignity by depriving them of civil, political and economic rights. The occupation is a daily nightmare for those who live it – and it is a moral disaster for those who support it and who administer it.

We are grounded in the values of the Jewish tradition. We celebrate Jewish cultural diversity as a source of resilience. We connect our movement to Jewish traditions, languages, rituals and practices, knowing that there are as many ways of being Jewish as there are Jews.

We appeal to public conscience. We refuse to negotiate behind closed doors with institutions. We speak powerfully and act publicly to win the conscience of American Jews and move them to action. We know that our institutions will have no choice but to follow in our community’s footsteps.

We take initiative. When a need emerges, we swarm to meet it. If 3 or more of us are convinced that an action will serve the goals of the movement, we proceed without the need for invitation or approval.

We are a nonviolent movement. We embody nonviolent discipline knowing this is the only way to win the hearts and minds of the Jewish community. Our community is already afraid of violence and betrayal. To raise a hand against our community would feed all of these fears.

We are a movement of volunteers. We do not accept money from sources seeking to influence IfNotNow, and stipends are used exclusively to increase volunteers’ capacity to meet the needs of the movement at a given time. We recognize and applaud the many different forms that sacrifice and risk can take.

We focus on what unites rather than what divides us. We are individuals who are differently affiliated, but together we act as IfNotNow. We do not take a unified stance on BDS, Zionism or the question of statehood. We work together to end American Jewish support for the occupation. Organizational representatives are welcome to participate so long as their organization explicitly agrees to adhere to the principles, strategy, and story of IfNotNow.

We show up for ourselves. We acknowledge the existence of anti-Jewish oppression, in the world and in ourselves. We take pride in who we are and work towards ending oppression in our own communities so that we may all be more whole.

We show up for others. We stand with other movements, such as those working for racial, economic, and gender justice. We are building a world in which American Jews use our unique position to fight for the liberation of all people.

We participate in the Jewish practice of teshuva (repentance). We value intention and action more than we do correct language. We will make mistakes. We will reflect. We will ask for forgiveness and offer it as we build deep, trusting relationships.

We take care of ourselves and each other. The tradition of Shabbat teaches us that all people deserve love, joy, and rest. Each person’s spiritual and personal well-being is integral to the vitality of our movement.

We believe that we will win. We know that we will succeed as long as we have the courage and energy to try. We are not discouraged by our opponents’ strength or condemnation. Rather, we see these as a sign that we are on the right track. We are building a flourishing, joyous, liberated Jewish community that stands for freedom and dignity for all. If not now, when?