Settler colonialism as the default option? Tallie Ben-Daniel, ‘Zionism’s Frontier Legacies: Colonial Masculinity and the American Council for Judaism in San Francisco’, American Studies, 54, 4, 2016, pp. 49-71
Excerpt: In 2011, San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum curated an exhibit called California Dreaming: Jewish Life in the Bay Area from the Gold Rush to the Present. The ambitious exhibit illustrated the specific regional history of San Francisco’s Jewish community. Arranged chronologically, most of the exhibit focused on the successes of Jewish families in San Francisco and the origin of major Jewish organizations—until the exhibit reached the end of World War II. Instead of celebrating the end of the Holocaust, the exhibit instead needed to contend with the American Council for Judaism (ACJ), a Jewish anti-Zionist organization whose strongest chapter was in San Francisco. The wall text of the exhibit explains the ACJ’s popularity as a reflection of “local comfort,” in that “the Jewish elite of San Francisco, who experienced very little anti-Semitism and held many public offices, found it difficult to imagine the dangers encountered by Jews in Europe or even in American cities that were less welcoming toward Jews.” The strength of San Francisco’s anti-Zionism was glossed over as a temporary aberration […].
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