As a birthright peer leader... - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Lonny
    • 30.04.11 | 06:04 (IDT)

    I was disgusted by the idea that I was expressly prohibited from stating my "political opinions" on the trip, a directive which I promptly ignored. I feel strongly that, had I not been on the trip, none of the educational components provided would have raised any serious questions. Significant portions of the program included opportunities to buy havdallah candles, a presentation about why Iran is scary and a "real shabbat" experience with "some Orthodox guy" (A quick search revealed that he was more of a "professional evangelist Orthodox guy"). As it was, my voice was often silenced by the tour guide of our trip, who when challenged on matters of history explained that she "doesn't like reading". We visited a Bedouin tent, but when I asked people to compare the lifestyle presented there to that of the bedouins we saw living under tin roofs on the road as we drove, I was shouted down. As these sanitized, 10-day trips for people with a varied range of interest (from the truly active to those who simply want a free trip in a cool place), an effort by Zionist youth groups to improve funding for teen tours with strong educational content and follow-up programming, called LAPID, has met with stonewalling from Israeli politicians. For shame, my people. For shame.

    from the article: Birthright Israel tours are insulting young Jews' intelligence
    First published 01:56 29.04.11 | Last updated 01:56 29.04.11
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