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#ReturnTheBirthright Jewish rights group campaigns against 'birthright' trip to Israel Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

#ReturnTheBirthright Jewish rights group campaigns against 'birthright' trip to Israel

Israeli seperation barrier [AFP]

Date of publication: 5 September, 2017

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Peace group Jewish Voice for Peace have launched a campaign encouraging Jews to boycott the so-called birthright trip to the occupied Palestinian territories.

For the past 18 years, Taglit-Birthright Israel has offered Jews from 67 countries across the world a free trip to visit Israel, claiming that it is their “birthright” to visit the country.

Various periodic schemes are set up to allow Jews, 80 percent of accepted applicants being from the US and Canada, to visit Israel and go on trips and tour the country.

Eligible individuals are those who have at least one parent of a recognised Jewish descent and the applicant must not be actively practicing another religion.

But peace group Jewish Voice for Peace have launched a campaign encouraging Jews to boycott the free birthright trip.

“Since 1999, the Birthright Israel program has sent over 500,000 Jewish young adults on a free ten-day trip to Israel, in the name of strengthening Jewish identity and connection to the Jewish state”, Jewish Voice for Peace said in a statement.

“As young Jews, we recognise that Israel is not our birthright. In 1948, Zionist militias expelled over 700,000 Palestinians from their homes and villages, an act of ethnic cleansing, known by Palestinians as the Nakba or ‘catastrophe’ in Arabic, that cleared the land for the creation of the modern-day state of Israel.”

They launched a campaign on social media under the hashtag #ReturnTheBirthright, which despite the controversy, did see many young Jews rethink the idea of the morality of taking a free trip while native Palestinians are unalbe to return to their homelands.

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