********************  POSTING RULES & NOTES  ********************
#1 YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
#2 This mail-list, like most, is publicly & permanently archived.
#3 Subscribe and post under an alias if #2 is a concern.


Nada Elia on some of the recent shenanigans that liberal Jews engaged in as
protest during the racist "Birthright" program that gives Jews free trips
to the parts of Palestine that became Israel.

I had the same feelings when I read about the original

It is good that liberal Jewish people are identifying less and less with
the Israeli occupation, but the effect of this kind of activism -- going on
a colonial propaganda trip and then criticizing the content of the trip,
without any real attention to the fact that you are still taking part in
the racially discriminatory trip itself -- essentially promotes a sort of
controlled opposition / buffer.

It also seems to miss the real purpose of the Birthright Trip. Some of the
liberal critics said it was a problem that they were not shown the West
Bank, where the majority of Israel's present-day land grabs take place (but
hardly all). Would it be better to have Zionist guides taking these kids to
the West Bank to show them all the "terrorist villages" that need to be
removed and whitewash the occupation?

Moreover, even if the trip's content was totally objective and accurate
(which is absurd given the purpose of the trip), or even if the trip was
totally apolitical and they simply took the kids to the beach, this line of
reasoning totally misses the real issue.

By hosting these annual trips, the Israeli regime can gather thousands and
thousands of people from relatively privileged backgrounds each year --
American and European Jewish youths, the majority of them in university and
coming from middle class families -- wine and dine them, help them network
with each other (if not get laid and get married) and essentially create an
international network of support for Zionism among the Jewish diaspora. As
such, any opposition to Zionism in these peoples' home countries will be
perceived by those Jews as an attack on them, their newfound community,
their career network, etc. And that image is not just for the people who go
on the trip, but for all others involved -- politicians, media, etc.
Everyone is essentially being told that those who challenge Israel are also
challenging all of these up-and-coming youths, and everyone must pick
between crusty activists and the next generation of Jewish movers and
shakers. Who will most stake-holders pick?

By objecting to the content of the trip rather than the trip itself, the
liberals are reaffirming the underlying racism of the propaganda trip and
further enabling its inculcation of Zionism. Furthermore, even if the
reforms they want were possible, the conversation remains among Jews about
what Palestinians are entitled -- Palestinians remain erased from the
conversation just as they are erased from the land itself while Jews
disagree with each other about how objective their colonial adventure
should be.

Amith R. Gupta
Full posting guidelines at: http://www.marxmail.org/sub.htm
Set your options at: 

Reply via email to