To provide a counterweight to Birthright, the organization that sends young Jews to Israel, the “pro-peace” lobbying group J Street has begun sponsoring its own tours on which participants can get exposed to a healthy dose of anti-Israel propaganda. Abe Greenwald comments on a recent fawning report in the New York Times:
[The Times] relays how students on the J Street trip were turned off by Israel and Zionism: “By dinnertime, two participants said they were reconsidering their belief in a Jewish state.” [The report] quotes one: “I came [to Israel] a very ardent Zionist. . . . You never know when a Holocaust might happen again. Yet, coming here, I’m starting to doubt whether a two-state solution is possible—and whether Zionism is even worth pursuing anymore.”
This is, of course, the goal of the entire undertaking. It’s not about painting a nuanced picture of the conflict or moving toward peace. It’s about Jews showing other Jews what a terrible and misguided place Israel has become. Increasingly, that’s J Street’s mission. Despite its denials, the group has supported the boycotting of Israel on college campuses and targeted pro-Israel activists. Now, it’s packaging the supposed evils of the Jewish state for students to see up close.
Birthright, for the record, doesn’t ignore the Israel-Palestinian conflict, [as its opponents claim]. It just operates with an understanding that Israel is more than its efforts to combat terrorism. And those efforts are overwhelmingly noble.
The good news is that J Street has taken only 28 kids on a single trip. Put that against Birthright’s estimated 650,000. It will take a lot [more] to make up the difference.