Home / News / Return the Birthright: Why are Jews protesting travel to Israel? | The Stream

Return the Birthright: Why are Jews protesting travel to Israel? | The Stream



Since 1999, Taglit-Birthright Israel has enabled thousands of young Jewish people around the world to travel to Israel. The nonprofit programme takes participants on an all-expenses-paid journey through the country, but Palestinian rights activists say the trip whitewashes the Israel-Palestine conflict. Critics have also questioned the ethics of the programme, noting the inability of Palestinians in the diaspora to return to their ancestral homeland.

Last summer, a small group of Birthright Israel participants walked off the trip protesting what they called the erasure of “the Palestinian experience.” Supporters of the programme, such as writer Ariel Sobel, called it a “stunt”, saying demonstrators used a free trip to make a political statement at the expense of people who might not otherwise be able to afford it. But human rights groups like Jewish Voice for Peace say young Jews should reject the programme entirely. They are using the hashtag #ReturnTheBirthright to highlight the dispossession of Palestinians.

In this episode, we chat with Taglit-Birthright Israel critics and alumni to explore the ethics of travelling to Israel.

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43 comments

  1. Thank you for watching, everybody. More from The Stream here: aljazeera.com/thestream

  2. If your reading this your gay

  3. American taxpayers are helping fund this Indoctrination Vacation.

  4. Do Catholics have their own country? Do Christian's have their own country/state are Christian's not persecuted in china? Judism isn't revolved around the state of israel, its revolved around someone that was named israel.
    Hitler also called germans back to Germany to their fatherland .

  5. Maya Edery……..another lefty self hating Jew just like Bethany Zaiman. What went wrong in their lives to be like this?

  6. The tribe of Judah is scattered to the four corners of the earth. Where are the Jewish people in Africa?

  7. Maduro is doing the right thing stopping the aid convoys. Hope other countries in particular Russia and China send food and medical supplies to. Venezuela immediately.

  8. Think again Bethany ! President Trump DID NOT separate children from their parents at the border. Keep believing the MSM propaganda at your own peril. In reality most of the children brought illegally to the southern US border are being trafficked into sex slavery by criminals . In addition it was Obama NOT Trump that held illegal children in detention centers. Bethany obviously can not think for herself and relied on the TV to get her facts What a shame you chose her as a guest speaker

  9. ISRAEL FOR LIFE! 🇮🇱

  10. why is birthrigt not for palistians ?….because its paid for by Jews…how come trip to mecca is not for jews?….bcause its for muslims. How come you muslims losts the war…because you live in the past literally. you lost give up it will never be a muslim country until you stop living in the past AND MAKE a new revision to your outdated irrelavent laws….jews have updated laws muslims havent in 1000s of years

  11. The fact is simple: Israel has the advantage of superior military arms and a better economy than its neighbors. Might made their rights over the land, it has been like that in the past and it continues to be so in the present. Idealism and its calls for justice are nothing without force.

  12. What's with all the hateful rhetoric? Birthright is just an opportunity for young Jews to visit their ancestral homeland and connect with their heritage. They aren't harming anyone.

  13. The Euro Jews who are converts to Judaism and descendants of the Khazars a TURKOMAN GROUP have no ethnic connection to the middle east-
    They are invaders who have caused a genocide of Palestinians and mayhem in the region and in America through their Khazar connection to Rothschild who set up the genocide of Palestine through the Balfour conspiracy
    They are WAR CRIMINALS AND SHOULD BE PROSECUTED TO THE FULL EXTENT OF INTERNATIONAL AND SENT BACK TO EASTERN EUROPE WHERE THEY CAME FROM
    THAT is the only way to peace and Justice!

  14. Anyone that protests Israel will lose.
    Israel and it’s people will continue to settle, move and do whatever they wish.

  15. Fuck Israel, and fuck the Jews as well. They can all burn.

    FREE PALESTINE!

  16. Religion has no place in political affairs

  17. Look, these people who call themselves jews are all stark raving mad lunatics, they are schizophrenic maniacs with delusions of grandeur and God complexes….SIMPLE!!! Israel is nothing but an open air lunatic asylum full of nutters!!!!!
    https://i.imgur.com/OhGCgg4.jpg

  18. Yeah because going through the Palestinian villages could get you killed unless you have the IDF going with you but then everyone is going to complain about the occupation and that the IDF is shutting down their village so Jews could come see it.
    Its an oxymoron and the 'Palestinian experience' is a dangerous idea.

  19. These jews r Europeans they r NOT TRUE HEBREWS. stop whitewashing

  20. I think it's interesting that Jews today should know by now they aren't the real Jews. Many already do of the ones I know. Even today we have finally dug up some old bones of ancient Canaanite/Hebrews. And the DNA was found as a match to modern Lebanese and Northern Palestinians as a blood match. Those were 2000 year old bones. They dare not compare that with modern Jews. What would happen. Now even that we know the Bible itself is about 75% fictitious material. Probably means the Jews with a homeland might be part of that fictions story. Well at least that is what the evidence points to. There truly is no home land for the Jews. A real race of people that went extinct 2000 years ago. Even after the second revolt war. Nobody was left. Maybe 20 at most some say. And those would later convert to Islam and blend into the modern population of Palestine, and then mixed with the other races. So the Jews went extinct. Modern Jews are just descendants of Russian/Polish/German, And Early Khazar groups who converted long ago. So the real Jews went extinct. Modern Jews are converted people. And now a claim to the land of Israel. A land their book says (75% Lie) is their land. What are we doing here? Allowing a people of a lie and race to claim a land they don't belong in. What is wrong with these people?

  21. I had some really good conversations with people on my birthright trip about our feelings about the issues in Israel. My tour guide was very open about talking about the wall bordering the West Bank. He told us no question was off limits. After my birthright trip i stayed in Israel for two more weeks. This was very inexpensive to do, and I was able to go out on my own and learn about what’s really going on by talking with both Jewish and Muslim people I met in Israel. During birthright I watched documentary videos about what life is like on the other side of the wall. I’m grateful for the openness of the people on my trip, especially my tour guide, in regard to the politics in Israel. I can’t talk about any other birthright trip than the one I experienced, but the one I experienced was very open. It’s not the end of my learning about Israel and Palestine. I hope that other birthright participants make the efforts to educate themselves beyond what they are shown on their tour.

  22. We are not allowed dual citizenship. Christians are not allowed. Dual citizenship is a one way street of discrimination
    Stay prayerful my friends and love one another.

  23. How can a land be occupied if it never belonged to the Palestinians ? Palestine is a name that was given by the Romans which again came the from the Jewish word Philistines. Palestinian are unfortunately the displaced people from Jordan, Egypt and Syria. Just a look at the flag colours of these countries should answer the question. This Arab responsibility and these Arab countries should take the Palestinian back rather than let them live like refugees in Gaza and West Bank.

    Don’t forget the Arabs started the wars in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973. You cant attack and then claim back land that you lose.

  24. These young folks and the general population should be educated on what is the true meaning of being a Jew, Semite, Israel, Hebrew etc. Are there Arab Jews? How is it different from Arab Israelis? Where are ethnic Hebrews of old? Is Biblical/Quaranic Israel the same as the Zionist state created in 1948? A lot of confusion out there.

  25. Did you know that all humans share 99.5 % the same DNA?

  26. Taglit-Birthright Israel is a good faith program. The program specifics and terms are laid out in the tour presentation. Jewish-Americans accept the program at face value and owe the organizers complete courtesy in accepting the benefits of the discovery opportunity.

  27. There is no support for Palestinian identity.

  28. Open borders to Arabs ? Like Europe ? Never gonna happen !

  29. Ariel Sobel going hard on the 'I AM VICTIM' theme..firstly, Tory British govt is not anti-Semitic, it's the Labour opposition who is falsely accused of anti-Semitism, because they speak out for Palestinian rights..

  30. I will appeal from the side of #KeepBirthright. Both sides of the story are valid, but there are reasons why Birthright is a good trip and important for most if not all Jews. I'll speak from my own experience, having gone on Birthright recently.

    Birthright offers the trip with many partner organizers. My group Israel Outdoors organized the trip as a way to see the land and walk through history. Think bus tour with decent accommodations.

    On the trip I was with over 50 Jews from USA, we came from everywhere: NY, CO, TX, MA, SFO, LA, GA and more…

    In Israel we saw sites like the Western Wall, Masada, city of Jerusalem and markets, Bedouin Tents, Tzifat, Eilat and Red Sea, Dead Sea, Ramon Crater and even the Hot springs of Tiberias.

    During the trip we discussed many topics as a group and there were social activities. We were joined by a local guide, 6 Israeli soldiers, 1 guard and 3 students on our trip. They gave us insight into Jewish life in Israel. Keep in mind Birthright is an experience for Israeli soldiers too, it's their first real chance to mingle with Americans and Europeans. This is important because of the alliance between Israel and America. Building bonds helps foster respect and understanding for young Israeli soldiers.

    I think many people on the trip don't comprehend the importance of Israel's American relationship. We need to help Israel find better solutions to the settlements and occupation. However, we should not assume Israel is wrong in how they currently operate. It is solely my opinion but I don't think Hammas or the PLO have the best interests in mind for most modern day Palestinians. What is more Israel never formally declared victory in previous wars, and borders are still contested.

    It is important for Palestinians to have a viable and safe place to live, but it cannot be at the expense of the Israeli people.

  31. Let’s analyze the benefits each group has brought to mankind:
    1) Israel – Waze, Teva, grape tomatoes, in fact way too many to name
    2) Palestine – ????
    I won’t mention among Palestinian contributions the fact that they invented airplane kidnappings

  32. She's doing the Jewish cause a great that service. There is a legitimate argument for why young Jews from around the world should visit Israel, but she did not make it.

  33. This channel is obsessed with israel.

  34. Revelation 2:9 I know thy works,and tribulation,and poverty,{but thou art rich} and i know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews and are not,but are the synagogue of satan…………before you get offended. ask this question, where is the golden city, where is malak dawadah, and where is the gates with the names of the 12 apostles?

  35. If it is a sign of hatred to compare Israel to the Third Reich, then isn't it a sign of hatred to compare any state to the Third Reich? Isn't it antisemitic to hold Israel to a double-standard? Should Poland, Hungry, and Ukraine make it a hate law to compare them to the Third Reich?

  36. In one word, Jews must give back Arab lands, get out of Israel,move to Africa, where they came from

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