Birthright Israel

January 13, 2013

Following the UN vote to grant Palestinians non-member observer state status at the UN General Assembly, Israel immediately announced plans to construct settlements in the E1 area, which would cut off East Jerusalem from the West Bank and effectively destroy all hope for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As this article from Philip Weiss makes clear, talk of a one-state solution is now becoming more common and more frank. The real questions that seem to be emerging from the rubble of this conflict concern the nature and boundaries of the only viable state that will remain in that area. Most importantly, will this single state of Israel be an apartheid or will it grant equal rights to all citizens regardless of religion or ethnicity? World public opinion makes the first option complicated and somewhat dangerous; consider what apartheid did for South Africa. But the demographics of Jews and Arabs makes the second option equally unattractive to Israeli planners. But there are, perhaps, ways of dealing with the demographics problem. In addition to killing large numbers of Palestinians, as Israel has done in recent years, it can also try to accelerate mass Jewish immigration to Israel, which is precisely the purpose of the Birthright Israel tours that provide all-expense paid holidays in Israel mainly to young Jewish Americans and Canadians in the hope of luring them to the motherland. Here is a brief glimpse of what takes place on these propaganda trips. 


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