Far-Left NGO Urges Boycott of Trips to Israel

"Israel is not our Birthright. Return the Birthright."

In just-released media reports, the left-wing extremist organization “Jewish Voices for Peace” has launched a campaign attacking Birthright Israel, which sponsors trips to the Holy Land for Jewish young adults aimed at strengthening their Jewish identity, Jewish communities, and a connection with Israel and its people.

According to The Jewish Press:

Now JVP, which openly supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and other extremist leftwing movements, has launched its “#ReturnTheBirthright” campaign, declaring proudly: “Israel is not our birthright.”

The Jewish Voice for Peace views itself as the “Jewish wing” of the Palestinian solidarity movement and seeks to “end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.” According to NGO Monitor, JVP’s funding sources are not transparent, and its website carries no information on its donors. JVP has received funding from the Violet Jabara Charitable Trust (an Arab-American foundation that also supports Electronic Intifada), the Firedoll Foundation, and the Wallace Global Fund, all of which contribute to numerous other anti-Israel groups.

The new attack’s manifesto states:

As young Jews, we recognize that Israel is not our birthright. In 1948, Zionist militias expelled over 700,000 Palestinians from their homes and villages, an act of ethnic cleansing, known by Palestinians as the Nakba or ‘catastrophe’ in Arabic, that cleared the land for the creation of the modern-day state of Israel. Today, when young Jews are taken by Birthright guides on hikes through forests in Israel, they still sometimes stumble across the remnants of these destroyed Palestinian villages, covered over, often deliberately, by the Jewish National Fund’s tree-planting programs. Meanwhile, millions of these Palestinians and their descendants continue to live in refugee camps and elsewhere in the global Palestinian diaspora, unable to return to their homeland, while those that remain in historic Palestine continue to face discriminatory, second-class citizenship within present-day Israel, and permanent military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza.

The message concludes:

We implore other young Jews on our campuses and in our communities: don’t go on a Birthright trip to Israel. Don’t take a trip sponsored by conservative donors and the Israeli government, where the ongoing oppression and occupation of Palestinians will be hidden from you, just because it’s free. There are other ways for us to strengthen our Jewish identities, in community with those who share our values. Israel is not our Birthright. Return the Birthright.

The new CEO of the Center for Jewish History, David N. Myers is an Academic Advisory Board Member for Jewish Voices for Peace. The organization has been named by the Anti-Defamation League as one of the ten most influential and active Anti-Israel organizations. Myers condemned a report issued by UC Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion about Jewish students coming under siege on campus by Anti-Israel forces, claiming rather in an open letter that the  ADL was a “well-known rightwing group”, which “..has become known for accusing critics of Israel of being anti-Semitic and denouncing Palestinian rights supporters, including Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace.” 

Issues