These young Jewish Americans from IfNotNow are protesting Birthright.
Birthright sponsors free ten-day trips to Israel for people of Jewish heritage. They’ve recently come under scrutiny for misleading participants about the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.
“On a Birthright trip, you’re not allowed to hear from Palestinians, you don’t see the West Bank, you don’t see Gaza, and the only humanity you see is you see Israelis but you don’t see Palestinians at all,” IfNotNow activist Brandon explained.
IfNotNow is a group of Jewish activists who oppose the occupation. Birthright has refused to engage with them.
“I think if they had their way, no young American Jews would know about Palestine and know about the massive human rights crisis that are happening there,” said Brandon.
Birthright is funded by the Israeli government and right-wing donors. Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has donated $410 million in Birthright. In 2016, he gave $25 million to Trump’s presidential campaign.
15 activists were arrested for blocking 3rd Ave and the doors to Birthright HQ.
“I think it’s really important that we are here today to stand for each other, for each other’s rights, and that we as a Jewish community are adamantly opposed to the occupation in a way that’s going to foster love between these communities,” IfNotNow activist Talia stated.