[VIDEO] US Jew: Birthright tours erase existence of Palestinians

Middle East Monitor  /  June 30, 2023

An American Jew visiting Israel with the right-wing non-profit organization, Birthright Israel, accused the tour guide of erasing the existence of Palestinians after noticing that the program’s map includes the occupied West Bank as part of Israel.

In a video clip shared online, the unnamed man criticizes the trip’s agenda at promoting and supporting Israel’s ongoing colonialism and apartheid policies, while slamming them as “unfair”.

“If I hadn’t asked anything, how would anyone know where the West Bank was because this map doesn’t say anything. It’s literally erasing the fact that Palestine exists.”

“It’s unfair. The real issue is that it’s inappropriate for all of us to be shown this map as if it is the truth when only the Israeli government thinks that the West Bank is part of Israel. The international community and the Palestinians themselves would never say that,”

he said.

VIDEO  :  https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20230630-us-jew-birthright-tours-erase-existence-of-palestinians/

Since its establishment in 1999, Birthright has brought some 500,000 young Jews from around the world on free trips to Israel.

According to the organization, the trips, which are largely funded by the Israeli government, are to “diminish the growing division between Israel and Jewish communities around the world; strengthen the sense of solidarity among world Jewry; and strengthen participants’ personal Jewish identity and connection to the Jewish people.”

However, activists have spoken out against the occupying state during the trips in addition to circulating petitions, staging protests on college campuses and blocking Birthright’s headquarters in New York.

In 2018, a petition signed by 1,500 Jewish students demanded Birthright include in its itinerary Palestinian speakers to address the realities of occupation.

“The Palestinians there live under military occupation, they cannot vote,” said the activist in the video. “They’re water is being controlled by other people and they can’t get access to it and their lives are being made a living hell because they can’t even see their family in Jerusalem and get to other cities because they never know when something is going to be shut down.”

He added: “What is the Israeli government’s agenda and what are the Birthright’s donor’s agenda in showing us these maps and not talking about the West Bank and the occupation. Is the agenda for all of us to go home and believe Israel is this great country that’s not enforcing a military occupation.”