J Street launches birthright alternative, featuring ‘Occupation 101’

An alternative ‘birthright’ tour that will include the Palestinian narrative.

By Judy Maltz (Haaretz) |   Forward  | Jul 1, 2019

By omitting Palestinian perspectives, Birthright trips create ‘a political environment that allows home demolitions, settlement expansion, and other destructive policies of occupation to continue unchallenged.’
— J Street

A first-of-its-kind “alternative Birthright” tour aimed at progressive-minded young American Jews kicks off in Israel on Tuesday.

Forty participants are set to take part in the 10-day inaugural trip, titled “Let Our People Know,” which is sponsored and financed by J Street.

The tour includes visits to the West Bank cities of Hebron and Ramallah, as well as meetings with Jewish settlers from the Binyamin Regional Council.

J Street, a movement that describes itself as being “pro-Israel” and “pro-peace,” contends that Birthright — a 20-year-old program that has brought more than 600,000 young Jewish adults from around the world on free 10-day trips to Israel — does not provide participants with a balanced view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as it ignores the Palestinian narrative. Except on rare occasions, Birthright participants do not visit the West Bank.

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