Birthright ends trips to Israel — ‘American Jews are better off imagining Israel than seeing it’

FeaturesIsrael/Palestine
on 30 Comments

In a shocking move, Birthright Israel announced today, April 1, that the well known travel-program-cum-dating-service will no longer be offering trips to Israel for Jewish young people. In an exclusive interview with Mondoweiss Birthright CEO Gidi Mark explained, “Given the rightward, and frankly racist, turn in Israel we could no longer conduct a trip that would present the country in the most flattering light. We determined that in order to build support for Israel, young people are best off leaving it to their imagination.”

Even though trips will not be continuing, Birthright Israel plans to continue going strong. A new New York City-based program will offer participants an immersive exploration of Israeli history, politics and culture through screenings of the films Exodus and You Don’t Mess with the Zohan.

Mark said the change was a stroke of genius. “We found that many young Jewish Americans had a better opinion of Israel before coming to the country. Years of exposure to Jewish educational programs led them to believe Israel was one thing, but time and time again we found participants were turned off by actually seeing the country.”

Mark says the idea for the change first came to him while watching the US presidential race. “I just kept thinking to myself as I watched the debates, why can’t we show people the Israel these politicians seem to see?” The Birthright head soon determined that the reason US politicians laud Israel is because they know so little about it. So, rather than giving participants a firsthand experience with Israel itself, he figures it’s more important to give them a firsthand experience with the idea of Israel.

Mark described the ah-ha moment, “We finally figured it out, the best way to build support for Israel is to have as little contact with Israel as possible.”

What went wrong?

Mark described how itineraries had been curtailed in the past several years due to Jewish violence. “First we stopped going to Jerusalem, given the tension and violence of the Jewish community there. Then we stopped going to the Galilee as Jews stepped up attacks there as well. Soon, we were left with about a three block radius in Tel Aviv that was worth seeing. Most participants just stayed in the hotel.”

Racism in Israel has been on the rise and Mark said it was hurting the program. “Truth be told, Israelis have always been kind of dicks,” Mark explained. “Birthright participants were so taken with the trip there were able to see past the dickishness. But I guess Israelis have just become even bigger dicks.”

Birthright, coming to a theater near you?

Mark says the program already has the AMC Empire 25 near Times Square reserved for the next Birthright trip, and he’s clearly excited. “I think we’ll have a great lineup for the new Birthright, Schindler’s List and World War Z are already on the schedule.” And while it won’t be the same as the old trip, Mark hopes some things will stay the same. “Sure, we will no longer have the Bedouin tent, but trust me, there will still be plenty of handjobs in the new Birthright as well.”

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

30 Responses

  1. Kay24
    April 1, 2016, 10:32 am

    This is shocking indeed, but very telling. It seems Birthright Israel has learnt the hard way that sending young Americans on a brainwashing mission to the mothership is not giving them the results that they imagined they will receive. Most probably our young American kids were fooled into thinking that Israel was the Utopia for all Jews, and everything was perfect over there.
    A short time in that only “democracy” in the ME must have opened their eyes to reality, the occupation looking ugly, the acres of illegal settlements indicating arrogance and disregard for international law, and the apartheid policies embarrassing. So instead of wasting time and money, they decide to make zio land look dazzling from afar, and the US media will continue to do it’s propaganda work, making Israel look like a victim from afar.

    I know of a young American (non Jewish) young lady, who decided to go to Israel for her studies, and when I met her grandmother recently and inquired about her, she said that the young lady had come back disillusioned. She has begun to see for herself the injustices against the Palestinians, and ended up disliking Israel, AND the US for supporting it. That is reality for you.

    • niass2
      April 1, 2016, 12:12 pm

      I wanted to go on one and just eat their food and see if could stand it without throttling one of them. Doubt it.

      • drhmay
        April 1, 2016, 3:05 pm

        Couldn’t contain the terrorist inside? Nice.

      • James North
        April 1, 2016, 4:16 pm

        Shift change at Hasbara Central.

      • Kay24
        April 1, 2016, 10:27 pm

        Not only shift change, they are promoting the 8th graders up too!!

  2. lonely rico
    April 1, 2016, 10:34 am

    APRIL FOOL !!!

  3. Rafi
    April 1, 2016, 11:24 am

    just wait until those young rich jews see america, the real america beyond their sheltered upper west side, they will make israel jewish evermore.

  4. Froggy
    April 1, 2016, 11:35 am

    April Fool !

    Froggy, who this morning announced to her husband that she is pregnant… again. ;)

  5. Ageel
    April 1, 2016, 11:39 am

    This is an April Fools article, right?

    • drhmay
      April 1, 2016, 3:12 pm

      Duh! It really bothers Modoweiss that young Jews love Israel and that Israelis maintain their humanity in the face of non stop threats and attacks. Oh well.

      • chocopie
        April 1, 2016, 4:27 pm

        “Israelis maintain their humanity in the face of non stop threats and attacks”: I get it! You’re pulling an April Fools joke too. Non stop threats and attacks, that’s hilarious! Thanks for the laugh.

      • K Renner
        April 1, 2016, 6:57 pm

        Good propaganda joke in your first line.

        And on the second one: I’m almost dying. You really have to be loopy to believe that they’re “maintaining their humanity” or that there are “nonstop” threats and attacks “for no reason”.

        You ought to win a prize for your boorish, oafish kind of audacity. Not a good prize, but a prize nonetheless.

      • lonely rico
        April 1, 2016, 8:08 pm

        >drhmay

        Jews love Israel and that Israelis maintain their humanity in the face of non stop threats and attacks. .

        Jews may (or may not) love Israel, but what is clear as mountain water, Zionists have NEVER EVER manifested any humanity in their dealings with the Palestinians.

        From Zionists we see only fear, hate and contempt for the Palestinian people (Muslim, Christian, Jew) who have/had been living (in peace) in Palestine for centuries.

  6. niass2
    April 1, 2016, 12:11 pm

    great. By the way, I saw jerry Garcia at a Holiday Inn that I stayed in last night after the Trump rally. He told me two things: 1) He would never play in Israel, until they change their ways and 2) he ain’t really dead, its just easier being a janitor these days than enduring all those long road trips.

    • jd65
      April 1, 2016, 1:06 pm

      That sounds about right. Did you know that Jerry is actually an immortal shapeshifter? I spoke w/ him a couple weeks ago. Adding to what you’ve mentioned, he told me he now does two weeks touring, and then two weeks off. Recently, he’s been touring as Katy Perry’s microphone. Nice gig. His “off” weeks are the janitorials (he prefers the term “custodial”).

  7. Citizen
    April 1, 2016, 5:08 pm

    Get a load of the movies they picked to take the place of the reality of Israel. Bar Schindler’s List, the rest of them are, well…. Johan, Z? 14 year old Jewish boys & Adam Sandler’s purse will be happy.

  8. German Lefty
    April 1, 2016, 5:28 pm

    “We determined that in order to build support for Israel, young people are best off leaving it to their imagination.”
    -> Too honest to be true!

  9. yonah fredman
    April 1, 2016, 6:06 pm

    Actually this foolish joke proves that Birthright feels that it is best to visit Israel, warts and all, (although the warts are not featured by most of the tours) in order to build a connection between diaspora jews and Israel. This site’s opposition to birthright is built partially on its opposition to in marriage or to be more precise its opposition to those promoting in marriage.

    • eljay
      April 1, 2016, 10:59 pm

      || yonah fredman: … This site’s opposition to birthright is built partially on its opposition to in marriage or to be more precise its opposition to those promoting in marriage. ||

      Birthright deserves to be opposed because it is an unjust and immoral part – one of many – of the unjust and immoral project that is religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

      • Mooser
        April 2, 2016, 1:29 pm

        “This site’s opposition to birthright is built partially on its opposition to in marriage or to be more precise its opposition to those promoting in marriage.”

        “Yonah” where does Mondo say “Shicksas are for Yids“?
        Will you say next that Mondo runs a meet-up service called “Where the boychiks meet the Goy chicks”?

        You are getting ridiculous, “Yonah”. I refuse to go there with you.

    • echinococcus
      April 1, 2016, 11:33 pm

      Wow, Reb Fredman! Even professional pimps don’t confuse pimping with “promoting marriage”.

      • Mooser
        April 2, 2016, 1:32 pm

        ” Even professional pimps don’t confuse pimping with “promoting marriage”.

        Marriage is an institute you can’t disparage! Ask the local gentry, and they will say: “It’s elementary!”

      • echinococcus
        April 2, 2016, 9:29 pm

        Mooser, want to suggest to the Yahoo he should play the Sinatra record in the famous Bedouin tent where selected supersexy soldiers and soldieresses meet the Jersey youth? Tell them a rabbi will be there first thing in the morning? I bet it would double-lock everybody’s fly.

      • Mooser
        April 3, 2016, 11:16 am

        When somebody loves you, it’s no good unless he loves you, all the way.

  10. JLewisDickerson
    April 2, 2016, 4:10 am

    RE: “Birthright ends trips to Israel —– ‘American Jews are better off imagining Israel than seeing it’”

    MY COMMENT: Brilliant 4/1 concept, nicely executed!
    Funny, but not in a “ha, ha, ha” kind of way.

  11. just
    April 2, 2016, 6:29 am

    Thanks, Adam.

    The following apparently really happened:

    “Belgium’s federal hotline for the extremist attacks in Brussels has fired an operator who told a Jewish caller that Israel does not exist and should be called Palestine instead.

    An unidentified Jewish man called the hotline, run by the Belgian Interior Ministry, telling the operator that he was a volunteer for the city of Antwerp’s Jewish Coordination Committee.

    He said he was seeking assistance for two people injured in the triple suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) on March 22, adding that they wished to be discharged from medical care as authorities “prepared to” transport them “to Israel.” The suicide bomb attacks at Brussels’ international airport and a metro station left at least 35 people dead.

    The call between the operator and the Jewish man was recorded and a Belgian Jewish monthly newspaper, Joods Actueel, posted an audio file of the call to its website.

    The operator responds to the statement that they will travel to Israel by saying: “That’s actually… see… back to Palestine.”

    The Jewish man responded: “Not Palestine, Israel.” The operator continued to say that Israel did not exist. “Yes, but that was before Palestine, of course. It’s called Palestine, sir.”

    The Jewish man challenged the operator, who said: “I know the Jews went to there, that Palestine received them and that there is a war between Israel and Palestine, of course. And the occupation… that’s what’s on the news, of course.”

    The editor-in-chief of Joods Actueel, Michael Freilich, said that the incident “defies imagination” that a state employee could display such anti-Israel rhetoric to a Jewish member of society.

    The call center company IPG, which has a contract to run the hotline with the Belgian Interior Ministry, subsequently fired the employee over the incident. “We wish to apologize to all members of the Jewish community and to the victims and their families in Israel,” Jac Vermeer, CEO of IPG, said. …”

    http://www.newsweek.com/operator-belgium-extremism-hotline-fired-telling-jewish-caller-israel-doesnt-442980?rx=us

    • Marnie
      April 2, 2016, 9:09 am

      Yes Jac, by all means, get on your knees and get ready to perform the mother of all apologies.

  12. Ossinev
    April 2, 2016, 11:43 am

    “In a shocking move, Birthright Israel announced today, April 1, that the well known travel-program-cum-dating-service will no longer be offering trips to Israel for Jewish young people.”

    Rumours are circulating that as part of the new stay at home vicarious Birthright Experience young American Jews will be offered free up to date editions of the latest” Total War Hebron 2 ” playstation game. This will enable them to enjoy the thrills and spills of extrajudicial executions from the comfort of their own bedrooms and lead to a much better understanding and appreciation of the horrendous threats to their poorly armed and poorly protected brethren in Judea and Samaria.

  13. Annie Robbins
    April 2, 2016, 7:44 pm

    this is hysterical!

Leave a Reply