I'm from South Africa, so I may have different view on birthright. I and many other diaspora Jews in South Africa have attended one of the birthright programs to Israel. In fact it was the seed that lead to my decision to make aliyah later this year. I think any real and tangible feeling Diaspora Jews can get with Israel is one step closer to the ultimate goal addressed in this article. I think Joel misses the point: whilst Diaspora Jews enjoy their trips to Israel and certainly have a good time - they also foster a deep-seated, even subconscious realisation of their Jewish identity and providing a platform for future positive interactions with Israel, and may ultimately lead (as in my case) to aliyah to the promised land.
Singapore arrests man who tried to join ISIS (Reuters)
from the article: Can Birthright bridge the Israel-Diaspora divide?