Not Just a Free Trip: American Jews Demand Birthright Tell the Truth about the Occupation
Every year, some 50,000 young American Jews will go on Birthright — a free, 10-day trip to Israel that offers a connection to other young Jews and a place many of us have family and have grown up hearing so many stories about. The trip is often seen as a rite of passage in our Jewish journey.
But we can no longer allow a free trip that hides the truth about the Occupation be synonymous with being a young Jewish person in America.
Sign this petition if you think Birthright needs to show young American Jews on its trips the truth about the Occupation.
We know that Birthright — which desperately wants to be viewed as a simple, apolitical, free trip — is hiding the truth about Israel and the Occupation from us. We are smart enough to know that more important than what participants are shown is what we are not shown.
Birthright curates an experience that deliberately obscures the Occupation from view, both literally (participants never have the chance to witness the brutality of checkpoints or spend time in Palestinian villages) — and figuratively (failing to educate participants about the daily nightmare of Occupation for Palestinians or honestly engage with the narratives of Palestinians living under Occupation) during the trip.
We also recognize the program is largely funded by right-wing billionaire and Trump-supporter Sheldon Adelson, who has contributed over $400 million to Birthright since 2009. Adelson spent more than $80 million to elect Trump and other Republicans in 2016, and made the largest donation in history to an incoming president when he gave $5 million to the Trump inaugural committee.Our generation will no longer allow ourselves to be manipulated by right-wing donors like Adelson and the radical Israeli government who tell us a story about Israel and Judaism that deliberately hides the Occupation. We demand the truth.