A t-shirt saying "Resist Racism. Sexism. Zionism." was sold during a couple of pro-Palestinian panels at a progressive conference on July 12, Jewish Insider reports.
The shirt also listed "homophobia," "anti-Semitism," and "Islamophobia" as necessary to "resist." Jewish Insider reporter Ben Jacobs told the Journal in a direct message on Twitter that the shirt was being sold during the "Making Palestine Part of the Progressive Agenda" and "Embedding Palestinian Rights in the 2020 Agenda" panels at the Netroots Nation conference to support the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR).
ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt told Jewish Insider that the shirt's "claim that Zionism is one of these horrible types of discrimination is, ironically, anti-Semitic," noting that the shirt called for resisting both "Zionism" and "anti-Semitism."
Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center Rabbi Abraham Cooper told the Journal in a phone interview that the shirt "makes Zionism a dirty word along with the other trigger pieces of what's horrible in our society." He added that it perpetuates "a slander against millions of American Jews, the citizens of democratic Israel and many, many non-Jews who are supporters of Zionism" and sends a message to progressive Jews that need to shed their Zionist identities.
"That is, by any other term, anti-Semitic," Cooper said.
Cooper also pointed out that the Soviet Union originated the notion that Zionism is anti-Semitic as a tactic to disguise their anti-Semitism.
"This is [the] ultimate kind of slap in the face that anti-Semites are now going to dictate to us the definition of anti-Semitism," Cooper said.
The Progressive Zionists of California (PZC) said in a statement to the Journal, "If the board and staff of Netroots Nation view Zionism—the movement for self-determination of the Jewish people in their ancestral homeland—as being akin to racism, sexism, antisemitism, homophobia and other forms of bigotry, they are either deeply misinformed or opting to disseminate their own brand of dangerous bigotry to their 3,000+ attendees. PZC hopes it is the former and would be delighted to host an event and panel at the 2020 Netroots Nation in Denver."
Netroots and USCPR did not respond to the Journal's requests for comment.
The Netroots conference took place in Philadelphia from July 11-13. The "Embedding Palestinian Rights" panel featured George Mason University Professor Noura Erekat saying that "the whole land [of Israel] is occupied," according to Jewish Insider, as well as Temple University Professor Marc Lamont Hill, who was fired from CNN in November calling for "a free Palestine from the river to the sea" at the United Nations.