Your adventure. Your birthright. Our gift.

taglit-birthright-israelTonight at book club, I overheard two of my girlfriends discussing their children’s upcoming “birthright” trips to Israel. I’d never heard of a birthright trip, but trusty Google knew all about it.

From their website:

Taglit-Birthright Israel provides the gift of first time, peer group, educational trips to Israel for Jewish young adults ages 18 to 26. Taglit-Birthright Israel’s founders created this program to send thousands of young Jewish adults from all over the world to Israel as a gift in order to diminish the growing division between Israel and Jewish communities around the world; to strengthen the sense of solidarity among world Jewry; and to strengthen participants’ personal Jewish identity and connection to the Jewish people.

The gift of the 10-day trip is being provided by our partners: private philanthropists through the Birthright Israel Foundation; the people of Israel through the Government of Israel; and Jewish communities around the world (North American Jewish Federations through the United Jewish Communities (UJC).

The Birthright Israel Foundation is generously supported by the following Jewish philanthropic partners: S. Daniel Abraham, The Abramson Family Foundation, Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson, The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, Edgar M. Bronfman, Circle of Service Foundation, Susie and Michael Gelman, Richard and Rhoda Goldman Foundation, David and Ruth Gottesman, The Harold Grinspoon Foundation, Hadassah – The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Susan and Roger Hertog, Ronald S. Lauder, The Marcus Foundation- Bernie Marcus, Jane and Daniel Och, The Samberg Family Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Judy and Michael Steinhardt, The Wasserman Foundation, Leslie and Abigail Wexner and The Wexner Foundation, Karen and Gary Winnick in North America; Marc Rich in Europe.

Pretty cool, huh?

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73 Responses to Your adventure. Your birthright. Our gift.

  1. Avatar jonah says:

    Thank you for your kindly racist contribution, Kevin.

    If you were doing it to satirize the Israeli position, you did admirably well.

    Say, Ron & Don, you still believe you can now convince others that your positions aren’t based on racism?

    And other forms of Irrational Hatred… Murderous hatred.

    Because I really can’t distinguish between your Racist statements and that of Kevin.

  2. Avatar Kevin Greenough says:

    Irrational Hatred… Murderous hatred

    You mean like what the Koran preaches, or perhaps what’s in the Hamas Charter or the jihad/fatwa/martyr shit? The Muslims invented terrorism and today have it perfected. Bastards can fly airplanes into the World Trade Center with nothing more than box cutters. Pieces of shit can only destroy not build.

  3. Avatar Ellie Bloch says:

    Murderous hatred? Oh, you must be referring to those savages who beheaded Daniel Pearl merely because he was Jewish. Scumbags told him to acknowledge he was Jewish before chopping his head off. Those animals just did it again to the Polish guy. I understand why Israel has to play rough: You would, too, if your house was surrounded by 350 million Arab and Muslim terrorists.

  4. Avatar Marie Walden says:

    Ellie and Kevin: Palestinian children are not terrorists. Nor are they pieces of shit or scumbags. They do, however, constitute a majority in Gaza and scores were killed in the Israeli bombing raids.

    Tone down your rhetoric. It undermines whatever point you’re trying to make.

  5. Eric Eric says:

    Your house is surrounded by 350 million Arabs and Muslims,
    some of them angry because you’re in their house? Get out!

    And who are you calling terrorists? Check out the Irgun, or Lehi!

  6. Avatar Don says:

    Some people have responded harshly because they may personally have been subjected to terrorist assaults, have family members or friends who have been subjected to such attacks, or are appalled by the savagery of such attacks i.e., Daniel Pearl or the Polish engineer. Those experiences can cause people to respond emotionally.

    Five points:

    1. Most Muslims, Arabs, or Palestinians are not terrorists and their character should not be impugned by the minority who engage in terrorism. Unfortunately, there is such a minority i.e., Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Al Qaeda, etc. Furthermore, there are radical Islamist preachers and also states with radical leaders who inflame anti-Semitic and violent passions e.g., Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is one example.

    2. Those who do engage in terrorism should be brought to justice for the harm they inflict on innocent people and their inexcusable actions should not be rationalized. It is always wrong to deliberately target civilians.

    3. The analogy that Israeli civilians are in homes that don’t belong to them has no merit whatsoever. There is no justification for terrorists’ attacking Israel’s civilians. None.

    4. Israel, like any other country, has an inherent right of self-defense when it comes to protecting the lives of its people.

    5. If the Palestinians are to gain a state of their own, they will need to abandon violence, participate at the negotiating table, and agree to the compromises necessary to achieve a settlement that accommodates the core needs of Israelis and the Palestinians alike. Terrorism is a dead end. It will not lead to such a state and it will leave both parties worse off than they would otherwise be.

  7. Avatar Mitch Horace says:

    >Most Muslims, Arabs, or Palestinians are not terrorists

    True, however, most terrorists are Muslims, Arabs or Palestinians.

  8. Eric Eric says:

    If one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter, and we give everyone’s opinion equal value, then most terrorists would be state terrorists.

    Judging by the most civilian deaths, the winner is the USAF.

  9. Avatar Tony Logan says:

    Yeah, true, Eric. But Mitch actually likes those terrorists I think?

  10. Avatar Don says:

    Eric,

    The USAF is not a terrorist organization. There is no deliberate intent on the part of the USAF to target civilians.

    Furthermore, while one should be open-minded in listening to other opinions and refraining from silencing dissent, each opinion should not be given equal weight after it is examined and considered. For example, if an opinion is clearly in error, that opinion is worth less intellectually than one that is closer to fact. Otherwise, one would be asked to suspend informed reason and judgment, and without the exercise of informed reason or judgment, intellectual progress would stall.

  11. Avatar Mitch Horace says:

    >one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter

    If the Palestinians are fighting for freedom, then they might want to be governed by the Knesset rather than Hamas and Fatah.

  12. Avatar Tony Logan says:

    ‘Eric, The USAF is not a terrorist organization. There is no deliberate intent on the part of the USAF to target civilians.’

    That’s just such a silly statement by you, Don, as the USAF has been continually booming places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq without any regard to the innocent civilians they are killing. And I wonder what Cambodians and Vietnamese would think about your totally ludicrous denialism? You see, Don, you are a Holocaust denier? Open your eyes, Man!

  13. Avatar benw says:

    First, Don, thank you for reasoned and cogent comments on Israel. However, I’d suggest you get off this site — there’s no point wasting your energy countering a small band of antisemitic extremists. You’d do more good on mainstream left-wing sites, such as Nation mag (thenation.com) or Daily Kos (dailykos.com), which present clearly biased but not clearly antisemitic coverage of Israel.

    As for the issue of ethnic groups, Jews *do* form an ethnic group. Ethnic groups are defined by shared culture. They do not, however, form a race — races (to the extent they can be defined at all) are defined by surface-level genetic characteristics not visible in people not of the race.

    Finally, to those members of this blog who are so convinced of the “colonialist” evil of Israel, did you know that the majority of Jews now in Israel are descendants of refugees from other countries, esp. Arab countries? In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, the *entire population* of 900,000 Mizrahi Jews (i.e. those of Arab descent) were ethnically cleansed out of Arab countries — their land and property stolen and they were forced to move to Israel. Are they “colonizers” too? Where is your righteous anger for them, or your demands for their “right to return” or just compensation?

  14. Avatar Tony Logan says:

    Benw, I sincerely hope that you take your own advice and just disappear.

    And BTW, Jews left Arab countries not because they suffered some horrible persecution (like having their land and property taken away from them) but because of the same reasons people came to the Americas from Europe and took land and properties stolen by them from the indigenous peoples. They were looking to get ahead at other peoples expense.

    Yes, now go spread your lies and nonsense over at The Nation or Daily Kos because those nice Democratic Party tied people are certainly going to be much politer to your type of racist anti Arab ilk than we will ever be.

  15. Avatar Mitch Horace says:

    The Jews were expelled from the Arab states during the ’48 war. Just as well–the food is much better in Israel.

  16. Avatar benw says:

    Tony, by your comments you show yourself to be a virulent anti-Semite and Jew-hater. You are welcome to keep your cesspool of hatred.

  17. Avatar Mitch Horace says:

    >Tony, by your comments you show yourself to be a virulent anti-Semite and Jew-hater. You are welcome to keep your cesspool of hatred.

    Don’t let it get out he’s having Shabbat dinner in Tel Aviv tonight. It’ll ruin his image.

  18. Avatar jonah says:

    So, Mitch, since I have a Hebrew name (Jonah wasn’t a Jewish prophet, incidentally, he was Samaritan) I would overlook your Goy name as being irrelevant..

    However, you’re claiming to be typing (and on shabat!) in Israel but are actually at a college in Virginia.

    That’s what your IP address works out to be.

    Since you feel that Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular are UnterMenschen and should all be deported… or killed…

    Why aren’t YOU in Israel or Gaza murdering babies along with your heroes?

    I would say that YOUR portrayal of all Jews or All Israelis as being supporters of Murder and Torture, like yourself, that in itself would be Anti-Jewish.

    That the people in Gaza for the vast majority were born there, AFTER their land was annexed but their nation neither recognized as a Nation, at least by Israel, and Boot-Lick-uds Puppet Masters in Washington and Kennebunkport…

    That means they were born into a ghetto and raised in a ghetto.

    Since they were actually BORN there, why should they be forced to choose to either live as Slaves to Likud, or leave their own homes?

    Or Be Murdered and their children with them for refusing either of the choices your Heroes so Imperiously grant them?

  19. Avatar Mitch Horace says:

    >Since you feel that Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular are UnterMenschen and should all be deported… or killed…

    When did I state that? The Israeli Arabs shouting, “Death to Jews,” in Israel should be deported. I’d first water-board ’em, just for giggles. As for murdering Palestinians, you level serious charges with no evidence to support them. Israel has gone so far as to invent weapons that purposely do not kill so as to minimize innocent casualties. Did you see how Hamas forced civilians to stand on rooftops in order to prevent the IDF from bombing their military buildings? Nice, right? Um, that’s a war crime, pal. Israel shot rockets at them that were designed not to injure them, just frighten them off the roofs. In fact, clear evidence has been shown of Hamas murdering BOTH innocent Palestinians and innocent Israelis, but, something in your mind just does not want to accept any wrongdoing on the part of Hamas. Maybe you are a Hamas at heart.

  20. Avatar Mitch Horace says:

    >That the people in Gaza for the vast majority were born there, AFTER their land was annexed ”

    You mean when Egypt annexed Gaza back in ’49 and through ’67, and when Jordan annexed Judea and Samaria. Didn’t hear much hottin’ and hollerin’ about Palestinian homelands back then, didja? Noooooo, not a peep. Palies were as quiet as church mice.

  21. Avatar Mitch Horace says:

    >Since they were actually BORN there, why should they be forced to choose to either live as Slaves to Likud, or leave their own homes?”

    Dude, had the Arabs not attacked Israel in the first place, the Pals would all be living in Israel instead of in a freaking refugee camp for 60 years because the other Arab nations refuse to take them in. They miscalculated and thought Israel would lose, now they’re bitching. Well, boo effing hoo.

  22. Avatar Tony Logan says:

    Mitch, three posts in a row here? Who are you talking to? Yourself?

    ‘When did I state that? The Israeli Arabs shouting, “Death to Jews,” in Israel should be deported. I’d first water-board ‘em, just for giggles.’

    You are a dumb fasicst thug and taint all your Zionist comrades with your own stench.

  23. Avatar Mitch Horace says:

    >You are a dumb fasicst thug and taint all your Zionist comrades with your own stench.

    If some group of militants started marching in front of your house shouting, “Death to Coloradans, Death to Tony and his family”, you’d want them gone, too.

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