Five Jewish women from the United States left Israel’s Birthright to protest the program’s bias and attempts to hide the Israeli occupation of Palestine, on Friday.
The women, who were scheduled to participate in the full tour, left mere hours before Israeli forces killed two more Palestinians in Gaza.
— Middle East Monitor (@MiddleEastMnt) June 29, 2018
According to reports, the women interrupted the program and announced that they were joining a tour of the occupied cities of Bethlehem and Hebron (Al-Khalil) organized by Breaking the Silence, an anti-occupation group created by former Israeli soldiers.
Five American Jews walked off their Birthright tour in protest of the horrific conditions of occupation they witnessed. The five then joined an anti-occupation tour led by human rights group Breaking the Silence. https://t.co/JppRP8Jv7W pic.twitter.com/Pvt6hBB7Vz
— The IMEU (@theIMEU) June 29, 2018
The women who abandoned the Birthright trip are members of U.S. Jewish anti-occupation group IfNotNow, who have led protests in the U.S. targeting U.S. officials who refused to condemn Israel’s deadly response to Palestinian protesters participating in the Great March of Return.
The five women affirmed in a joint statement:
“We came with questions about what’s happening in the occupied territories and wanted to engage with new perspectives… But what became clear over the course of ten days was that Birthright did not want to truthfully engage with our questions. It’s clear that young Jews who have critical questions about Israel are not welcome on Birthright.”
— MintPress News (@MintPressNews) June 30, 2018
Taglit-Birthright is one of the organizations that brings thousands of Jewish youth to Israel on free trips and has been accused of being a state propaganda tool.
The tours, which formally began in 1999, have attracted more than 600,000 young people from 67 countries to participate in the program.
Over 75% of the participants are from the United States and Canada.
— Susie Snowflake (@palestininianpr) July 1, 2018
On Friday, Palestinian authorities reported the Israeli occupation forces killed two Palestinians in Gaza, including a 14-year-old Palestinian boy identified as Yasser Abu Anja.
The boy and 24-year-old Mohammad al-Khamaida were shot with live ammunition by Israel Forces and later succumbed to their wounds.
— Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) June 30, 2018
According to Israeli authorities, protesters in Gaza shot down an army drone filming the protesters near the Israel-Gaza fence.
The protesters had assembled to demand their right to return to the lands they were expelled from after the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, as well as the end of the over-a-decade-long siege on Gaza.
— Antiwar.com (@Antiwarcom) May 26, 2018
Israel’s half-a-century-long occupation of Palestine continues to lose support among U.S. Jews who see a contradiction between Judaism and Israel’s crimes against Palestinians.
(TeleSur, PC, Social Media)