Key Issues for Allies Ending the Oppression of Jews

A handout at an Allies to Jewish Liberation Workshop in June 2012

The following are some key issues and actions for us as allies to Jews:

  • Having our own thinking
  • Being solid in our sense of our own goodness, worth, significance, and capacity to act boldly against anti-Jewish oppression and Jewish internalized oppression; being able to assist Jews to have each other and resisting any pull to be preferred over a Jew
  • Being open about and full of our passion for Jewish liberation, ready to take on1 anti-Jewish oppression in the wide world whenever possible—at churches and workplaces, in organisations, and elsewhere
  • Discharging on the history of anti-Jewish oppression and the struggle for Jewish liberation; facing “the worst of the worst”
  • Understanding when something is an example of anti-Jewish oppression and when it is not
  • Uniting across all our divisions as Gentiles—in particular, ending the separation between people targeted by racism and white people (such a united force deals a serious blow to oppression and destabilises anti-Jewish oppression)
  • Being aware of the oppressions among the Jewish people—racism, and so on
  • Facing our own oppressor patterns—the feelings that our group, religion, class, is superior; noticing when we attach frozen needs2 to Jews and when we set Jews up3; facing our “bystander” and “collaboration” material4
  • Being active and proactive in the face of Jewish internalised oppression; fighting any pull to be quiet and timid
  • Developing a picture of and discharging on where we as Gentiles (and in any other of our identities) play a middle-agent role5
  • Working on our insecurities and our fears of getting things wrong and being told off6; working on humiliation
  • Staying connected to Jews and not pulling back or “disappearing,” no matter what
  • Working on trust and fear in order to create the slack to counsel our Jewish loves in these areas
  • Working on liking Jews and showing love openly and fully
  • Working directly on anti-Jewish attitudes and feelings
  • Letting all issues matter fully
  • Acting with courage and integrity, and expecting that of each other and of Jews
  • Developing the flexibility to draw an attack to us and away from a Jew, or to stand close by and assist a Jew who is being attacked
  • Informing ourselves; taking initiative, while eagerly following Cherie’s7 and Diane’s8 leadership
  • Having fun.

In summary: Reach for our biggest selves. Face fully our significance and the importance of reaching for increasing clarity about contemporary Jewish issues. Have this matter to us and show it, so that we stand shoulder to shoulder with Jews, understanding that Jewish liberation is our liberation—period.9 It is in our interests, and it is important that we face this.

Dorann van Heeswijk
London, England


1 Take on means confront and do something about.
2 Frozen need is a term used in RC for a hurt that results when a rational need is not met in childhood. The hurt compels the person to keep trying to fill the need in the present, but the frozen need cannot be filled; it can only be discharged.
3 Set Jews up means put Jews in a position to be attacked, disliked, and so on.
4 Material means distress recordings.
5 A middle-agent role is a role in which someone acts as the agent of those who are in control of an oppressive society.
6 Told off means forcefully criticized.
7 Cherie Brown is the International Liberation Reference Person for Jews.
8 Diane Balser is the International Liberation Reference Person for Women and is a leader of Jewish liberation.
9 In this context, period means that’s all there is to say; that is the final word.


Last modified: 2017-05-06 23:35:41-07