Renewal of Purpose Leading into the Summer

Almost six months into the war there is still no end in sight. The massacre of October 7th still sits heavy on the minds of the Jewish people and Israeli society, and many of the hostages are still not home. There is ongoing right-wing settler violence in the West Bank, there is an invasion looming in Rafah, there is catastrophic hunger in Gaza, and the number of Palestinians killed by the Israeli assault is rising every day, including staggering numbers of civilians. This reality does not represent the vision of Habonim Dror North America for Israel and Palestine. A few weeks ago, HDNA, in partnership with the Progressive Israel Network, signed a letter urging President Biden and the United States government to call and work for the following three items:

  1. A bilateral ceasefire that brings a stop to fighting and a release of all hostages;
  2. A surge in humanitarian assistance;
  3. A plan for peace, security, freedom, and self-determination for all.

We want to be clear that this is the educational stance of Habonim Dror North America. We also want to be clear that we are a youth movement composed of diverse individuals and situated within varied communities. The views represented in HDNA are numerous and impossible to summarize in one set of positions. Movement members and alumni hold a diverse array of opinions that consistently lie in tension with each other. As an educational youth movement, we have emphasized the need to hold those tensions and to work within them, and to hold Shivyon Erech Ha’adam – the equality of human value – at the center of our pedagogical practice.


As the Mazkirut Artzit, whose role it is to hold these multiplicities contained in HDNA while also leading and setting an educational direction, we have chosen to affirm this stance. We add to this stance that it is time for Benjamin Netanyahu and his extremist government to be voted out of office. There needs to be a new government to achieve peace and self-determination for all. His fight to remain in office has only prolonged the war in Gaza and the occupation of the West Bank, while also eroding democracy in Israel. Further, we demand a reality where there is a return to a negotiated, diplomatic process as a way to end the cycles of bloodshed and war. HDNA remains committed as a Socialist-Zionist youth movement to democratic Jewish self-determination. This stance cannot be divorced from our position that as a social justice oriented and socialist movement, there needs to be Palestinian self-determination. We are committed to working towards a shared future based on equality and peace. The struggle for liberation necessitates the freedom of all peoples in Israel and Palestine. 

At Veida 2022, HDNA reaffirmed its commitment to educational action on Israel, Palestine and Zionism. Since the war, HDNA has exemplified this by running a week of education focused on choosing life, running numerous peulot in-person and online that delved into the educational dilemmas of the moment, and organizing the PIN network to run an educational program on shared futures. In this way, we are an educational movement, but there are also many important political organizations whose work we want to highlight and support. These include but are not limited to: Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now, JStreet, A Land for All, New Israel Fund, Partners for Progressive Israel, Standing Together, T’ruah, and Women Wage Peace. We invite our ma’apilimot and bogrimot to join this work as many have already done.

We strive for a shared future in Israel and Palestine based on partnership and community. We do so educationally, by bringing our members into dilemmas – ones that not everyone will agree with – so that meaningful thought can be developed to then be turned into action, either by individual action, or through building education that explores these principles this summer at machaneh. It is only in the moments of deep disagreement that we move towards our vision for a shared future and we rely on every member of the movement to embrace the impact of those moments of disagreement. As HDNA, we invite you to take educational action and enter into dialogue and dilemmas, both to remember our shared core, but also to grow together. Here we have emphasized our shared core. It is by no means our final stance, but rather the beginning of an educational conversation.

Aleh v’Hagshem, 
Mazkirut Artzit 5784

Posted in Statements.