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No "Birthright Israel" place for Sierra

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  • charlespottins@aol.com
    BIRTHRIGHT ISRAEL, a programme which takes young Jews from the United States and Canada on guided tours of Israel, has kicked one would-be participant of its
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 1, 2006
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      BIRTHRIGHT ISRAEL, a programme which takes young Jews from the United States
      and Canada on guided tours of Israel, has kicked one would-be participant of
      its trip after hearing that she wanted to follow up by visiting the Occupied
      west Bank to meet and learn from Palestinians about their conditions.


      Birthright Unplugged June 1, 2006
      www.birthrightunplugged.org

      ************FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE************

      Birthright Israel removes participant because she also planned to take an
      educational trip to the West Bank


      On May 31, 2006, one week before Sierra’s planned departure for Tel Aviv,
      she received a call from Birthright Israel trip organizers telling her she
      was no longer welcome on their free 10-day tour of Israel. The reason: she
      planned to join the 6-day Birthright Unplugged trip through the West Bank
      after the first trip was finished.

      Sierra’s stated goal was to go to the region to learn from both Israelis and
      Palestinians about the situation there.

      Birthright Unplugged offers opportunities for mostly young Jewish North
      Americans to meet Palestinians and learn about daily life under occupation.
      The trip takes participants through Palestinian cities, villages, and
      refugee camps, and organizes formal and informal meetings with a variety of
      Palestinians and Israelis.

      According to Birthright Unplugged co-founder Hannah Mermelstein, “We started
      this program to put trip participants in conversation with Palestinian civil
      society, to learn firsthand about the situation in Israel/Palestine, and to
      use their knowledge to make positive change in the world. By denying Sierra
      the opportunity to have this educational experience, Birthright Israel is
      further proving the need for our existence.”

      Since 2000, Birthright Israel has sent 100,000 Jewish people, ages 18-26, on
      free trips to Israel. Participants are encouraged to extend their tickets
      beyond the dates of their Birthright Israel trip, which is exactly what
      Sierra intended to do. Apparently, any desire to meet Palestinians living
      under occupation is reason to disqualify one from Birthright Israel’s trip.

      Jewish individuals have already stepped forward and offered to contribute
      towards the purchase of a plane ticket for Sierra in the hopes that she can
      still participate in Birthright Unplugged and in order to send a message to
      Birthright Israel that the quest for knowledge is a value held by many
      Jewish people.

      “Birthright Israel does not have a monopoly on Jewish people’s relationship
      to Israel/Palestine,” said Mermelstein. “As hard as they try, they will
      never be able to stop people from pursuing knowledge and breaking down walls
      and barriers.”

      Birthright Unplugged: Contact Hannah Mermelstein, 617-835-6142,
      215-886-7727,
      hmermels@....

      ______________


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • deborah_fink
      Birthright Israel has got wise to this trend of visiting Palestine afterwards ever since Lora Gordon (remember her from the JP seder, 2004?) went on to
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 1, 2006
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        Birthright Israel has got wise to this 'trend' of visiting Palestine
        afterwards ever since Lora Gordon (remember her from the JP
        seder, 2004?) went on to Rafah........

        Debbie
        --- In JustPeaceUK@yahoogroups.com, charlespottins@...
        wrote:
        >
        > BIRTHRIGHT ISRAEL, a programme which takes young Jews
        from the United States
        > and Canada on guided tours of Israel, has kicked one
        would-be participant of
        > its trip after hearing that she wanted to follow up by visiting the
        Occupied
        > west Bank to meet and learn from Palestinians about their
        conditions.
        >
        >
        > Birthright Unplugged June 1, 2006
        > www.birthrightunplugged.org
        >
        > ************FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE************
        >
        > Birthright Israel removes participant because she also
        planned to take an
        > educational trip to the West Bank
        >
        >
        > On May 31, 2006, one week before Sierra’s planned
        departure for Tel Aviv,
        > she received a call from Birthright Israel trip organizers telling
        her she
        > was no longer welcome on their free 10-day tour of Israel. The
        reason: she
        > planned to join the 6-day Birthright Unplugged trip through the
        West Bank
        > after the first trip was finished.
        >
        > Sierra’s stated goal was to go to the region to learn from
        both Israelis and
        > Palestinians about the situation there.
        >
        > Birthright Unplugged offers opportunities for mostly young
        Jewish North
        > Americans to meet Palestinians and learn about daily life
        under occupation.
        > The trip takes participants through Palestinian cities, villages,
        and
        > refugee camps, and organizes formal and informal meetings
        with a variety of
        > Palestinians and Israelis.
        >
        > According to Birthright Unplugged co-founder Hannah
        Mermelstein, “We started
        > this program to put trip participants in conversation with
        Palestinian civil
        > society, to learn firsthand about the situation in
        Israel/Palestine, and to
        > use their knowledge to make positive change in the world. By
        denying Sierra
        > the opportunity to have this educational experience, Birthright
        Israel is
        > further proving the need for our existence.�
        >
        > Since 2000, Birthright Israel has sent 100,000 Jewish people,
        ages 18-26, on
        > free trips to Israel. Participants are encouraged to extend their
        tickets
        > beyond the dates of their Birthright Israel trip, which is exactly
        what
        > Sierra intended to do. Apparently, any desire to meet
        Palestinians living
        > under occupation is reason to disqualify one from Birthright
        Israel’s trip.
        >
        > Jewish individuals have already stepped forward and offered to
        contribute
        > towards the purchase of a plane ticket for Sierra in the hopes
        that she can
        > still participate in Birthright Unplugged and in order to send a
        message to
        > Birthright Israel that the quest for knowledge is a value held by
        many
        > Jewish people.
        >
        > “Birthright Israel does not have a monopoly on Jewish
        people’s relationship
        > to Israel/Palestine,â€? said Mermelstein. “As hard as they
        try, they will
        > never be able to stop people from pursuing knowledge and
        breaking down walls
        > and barriers.�
        >
        > Birthright Unplugged: Contact Hannah Mermelstein,
        617-835-6142,
        > 215-886-7727,
        > hmermels@...
        >
        > ______________
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
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