Pro-Palestinian group Jewish Voice for Peace is calling on young Jewish adults to eschew the free trip to the Jewish state offered by Birthright Israel.
The organization launched a campaign calling on young Jews eligible for the trip to reject Birthright Israel using the slogan #ReturnTheBirthright.
A manifesto on the JVP website says participating in the trip “means playing an active role in helping the state promote Jewish ‘return’ while rejecting the Palestinian right of return.”
“It is not enough to accept this offer from the Israeli government and maintain a critical perspective while on the trip. We reject the offer of a free trip to a state that does not represent us, a trip that is only ‘free’ because it has been paid for by the dispossession of Palestinians. And as we reject this, we commit to promoting the right to return of Palestinian refugees,” the statement continues. “There are other ways for us to strengthen our Jewish identities, in community with those who share our values. Israel is not our Birthright.”
Some 600,000 Jewish young adults have visited Israel on the 10-day, all expenses paid trips funded by private donors and the Israeli government. The trip, also known as Taglit, is open to anyone who between the ages of 18 and 26 who has at least one Jewish parent or who converted into the faith.
The campaign by JVP, which supports the boycott, divest and sanctions movement against Israel, also asks those eligible for the trip to sign a pledge saying they will not participate.
“We pledge that we will not go on a Birthright trip because it is fundamentally unjust that we are given a free trip to Israel, while Palestinian refugees are barred from returning to their homes,” the note reads.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.