For ‘Birthright’ tourists, hill above Gaza is fun like the Grand Canyon

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hillofshame1Max Blumenthal has a savage post (with many great photos by Kali Harper, including this one) about a visit to the "Hill of Shame" outside Sderot where Israelis sat to watch the Gaza assault. He just visited the spot, and this is what he saw. Please go to his site and look at the pictures of these atrocity-tourists…

While [guide Eric] Yellin described conditions inside Gaza and discussed the rocketing of nearby communities, a bus filled with students from Argentina on a Birthright Israel-style tour pulled up to the hill.

The students rushed out of the bus and began taking photos in front of the Gaza landscape as though they were at the Grand Canyon. I asked a group of them what they thought of the people living inside the Gaza Strip. A girl looked at me, then at our group, then remarked about us in Spanish to her friends, “They’re Palestinians. Let’s get out of here.” Strangely, there were no Palestinians in our group; it consisted mostly of white people from the United States.

All of the sudden, a group of soldiers from the Givati Brigade motored up the hill to meet the Argentinian students. As soon as the soldiers emerged from their jeeps, they were surrounded by giggling girls eager to climb all over them and their jeeps. The guys, who were wearing the IDF t-shirts and hats sold in Jerusalem tourist shops, lined up for photos with the troops, who enthusiastically obliged…

Besides learning fanciful and discredited notions about the usefulness of fortress Israel in a dark, Jew-hating world, Birthright tourists are taught to worship the power of the IDF and are taught that the army is in fact defending “the Jewish people.” Meanwhile they learn nothing about the culture of Palestinians and are expressly forbidden from meeting them. Instead of meeting Israeli peace activists like Eric Yellin, they receive a lecture from an Orientalist huckster (check out one of Birthright’s favorite speakers here) about Palestinian “incitement” and the threat of radical Islam. In their free time, Birthright tourists are urged to enjoy a Goldstar-sodden, Porky’s-style bachannal in the hope that they will someday contribute to a spike in the Jewish birthrate. Sleeping with a soldier, whether male or female, is especially encouraged.

Blumenthal’s entire post includes a glimpse of Peter Beinart lamenting the troubles of liberal Zionism, and the struggle of the two-state solution, and Blumenthal’s comment about how irrelevant this inter-ethnic ordeal is becoming to Palestinians in the audience.

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