Mayim Bialik: Yes, You Can Be Zionist & a Feminist – Kveller
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Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik: Yes, You Can Be Zionist & a Feminist

Mayim Bialik is an actress, feminist, mom, scientist (she has a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA), activist, and writer. She’s currently a star on the CBS show “The Big Bang Theory,” a founding Kveller writer, and now the founder of Grok Nation. Her latest is book is coming out on May 9 from Penguin Books–and it’s titled “Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular.” So, you know, she knows a thing or two about being a badass lady.

Bialik calls herself a Zionist–and she’s not afraid to broach the topic, despite the fact that many avoid the issue out of fear of being ensnared in an intense internet flame war. Recently, she wrote an article on Grok Nation called “Feminism & Zionism: Definitions And Exclusions,” which explores the fact that it’s possible to be both a feminist and Zionist. In it, she wrote:

“I am a Zionist… I am a feminist. There are Zionists who are critical of certain Israeli policies and those who are not; there are Zionists who are anti-occupation and there are Zionists who are pro-settlement; and there are Zionists who fall between these extremes. The definitions of Zionism and feminism are not in conflict with each other. At all.

As a feminist Zionist, I can’t believe I am being asked to choose or even defend my religious, historical and cultural identity. The “left” needs to reexamine the microscope they use to look at Israel, and we all need to take a step back and remember we are stronger together: women, men, lovers of peace, and lovers of freedom and justice.

Accusing Zionism of being incompatible with feminism is exceptionally short-sighted. It smarts of a broad-stroke bias against the entire Jewish people for the violations that occur in a state that was founded on the principles of Zionism. That’s not good. Bad things happen when we paint with such a broad brush. It’s bigotry.”

Then, in a recent interview with Bustle, Mayim elaborated even further:

“There’s not a planet that exists that should make me choose between being a feminist and being a Zionist.

I do not believe [Israel] is a perfect country. I do not support all the policies of its government. I don’t support any military actions that are taken against civilians that are unnecessary, racist, or anything like that. But there are a  lot of ways to be a Zionist, and one of them is by also supporting the rights of Palestinians, while not wanting to sacrifice the security of Israel. Those things are compatible.

For many of us who are liberals who also believe in the right of the state of Israel to exist, this feels like the far left is tearing liberals apart. It’s terrible. I think it’s devastating because there are so many — in particular, so many Jews — who are trying to be part of progressive and liberal politics. It’s horrible that this is being used against us.”

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