Birthright, the program that brings young Jews to Israel for nothing, posted video of its bash in Jerusalem on June 27. The leading sponsors of the program spoke: Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam. Miriam said that she wanted the thousands of young Jews on the trip to “have more Jewish babies” because assimilation is “decimating the Diaspora,” then go back and “lobby governments” and “sway public opinion.”
Here are Sheldon Adelson’s comments on Korea:
I wasn’t born here here I wasn’t raised here, I didn’t serve in the army here. I did serve in the United States Army. I’m a veteran of the Korean war. Actually I hope Trump gets North and South Korea to finish the war. I feel as though I might be called back up. I fight enough. I don’t want to go back to Korea to fight. I want to go back to Korea to open up my business.
Adelson is one of Donald Trump’s biggest contributors, having given upwards of $25 million to the 2016 campaign. He owns casinos in Macau, China; Singapore, and Las Vegas.
Here are Miriam Adelson’s comments on the young American Jews being soldiers for Israel on campuses and street corners in the U.S., and lobbying governments too.
This is no mere summer vacation. This is Birthright Israel. Tha name refers to the biblical promise of Israel to our forefather Abraham and to his descendants the Jewish people. You have a chance to be a living bridge between the Diaspora and Zion, the Jewish homeland, with Jerusalem as its heart.
What you take away with you and how you pursue your lives as Jews and your ties with Israel will shape Jewish destiny. In many ways you have had it easier than earlier generations of young Jews who came to help Israel survive and flourish. But you face new challenges of your own. Assimilation is decimating the diaspora and Israel is under siege on campuses and street corners by those who would destroy it by delegitimizing it. It is up to you to become ambassadors for Israel, it is up to you to be our soldiers abroad, armed with love and knowledge and conviction, ready to lobby governments and sway public opinion in Israel’s favor.
It is also up to you to be more committed Jews. Birthright graduates are likelier to marry within the faith, to have more Jewish babies. Who knows, maybe some of you have already met your future spouse here. No. Look around. It’s not too late.
Friends, go out and make history. Do it for the future of the Jewish people in Israel and the Diaspora. And do it to honor those who came before you, who sacrificed and fought so you might be here, answering the call in Jerusalem, the beloved, eternal and indivisible capital of Israel.
Sheldon Adelson, 84, seconded his wife’s comments, then called on the Birthright participants to be ambassadors for Israel against Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).
When you go back you are the ambassadors for Israel and you are the emissaries that fight here, that fight for us, here in Israel. BDS is trying to make headway on campuses all over the world. And we gotta fight back with them. They’re telling lies about things that are so far from the truth, like genocide and apartheid. There’s none of that here, absolutely none….
With 600,000 and 50,000 coming every year you guys will be the emissaries that tell the truth about what goes on here.
We’re the only democracy in this entire section of the world. And the Arabs have a better living conditions here than they have in other countries. So remember when you go back and Israel needs some talking up. We need some help on the campuses. There’s a group I started called Campus Maccabees. We’re fighting against BDS and we could use your help.
Adelson gave $70 million to Birthright earlier this year. At that time, Michael Bloomberg gave the program $2 million.
At the Jerusalem bash on June 27, Charles Bronfman, 87, a co-founder of Birthright, denied that there’s a rift between American and Israeli Jews.
We have been told that there is a rift between Israel and Diaspora Jewry. The [unintelligible Hebrew] has exploded all those myths and instead all you folks from the army and all you folks from the Diaspora, have gotten together have become friends, and that’s what this is all about
Together we Jews can be a great force for good in the world. Let’s stay united, let’s be Israelis and Americans and everybody else and let’s all stay Jewish, god bless you all.
IfNotNow is mocking the Birthright gala for its explicitly political/military touches.
H/t Jonathan Ofir, IfNotNow.