Summer Encounter Tour For Jewish Students

This should be an interesting trip (c/o Dan Rosen):

If you’re coming to Israel on birthright, or if you’ve been to Israel before but feel that you were perhaps left with a one-sided view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or that you did not learn as much about the present situation as much as you’d have liked, you may want to consider attending one of these programs this summer:
Bina Kehilla:
The Bina Kehilla trip will be a genuinely eye-opening experience for its participants by allowing them to witness first hand what is happening in the region. The delegation will visit communities in Palestine and Israel, border checkpoints, Jewish settlements, and major landmarks with tours of these areas by local community leaders, members of Palestinian and Israeli peace and justice organizations, and student/youth community leaders. We will be immersing ourselves in Israeli and Palestine culture by staying in hotels and in communities impacted by the ongoing problems of the region.

One questions – is this free as birthright is?

18 thoughts on “Summer Encounter Tour For Jewish Students

  1. If yopu are a self-hater like Asaf and you want Israel to be dismantled and given to those who hate us go on this trip.

  2. Wow, joe achmo. Look at the description of the trip. Nothing about disengagement- everything is about education and peace. And for that you call Asaf a self-hater. Do you know how ignorant and hateful that makes you look? And how damaging that kind of turn-off is for your cause? Okay, everybody line up. Peace and education over here, vitriol and rhetoric over there.

  3. heh– I gues Siviyo is uninitiated.
    Well, as much as Joe Schmo (achmo?) annoys me, I must at least point out that a “one-sided” understanding of the situation is just as problematic when that side is leftist as when it is rightist. Kind of a dumb thing for them to say.

  4. (This message is unrelated with this posting)
    What has happened to Jewschool? Where are the polarizing enraging discussions attracting scores of posts and raising the general blood pressure of its readers? Why am I not getting pissed off by the issues John Brown or Zionista decide to take the wrong sides of?
    Help me?

  5. Merliner: I dunno. Have you tried Jewlicious? We actually suck a lot but I carry a knife and if you piss me off, I will find you and cut you. I will! That ought to make for some rousing discussions!
    As for the topic I kinda resent the notion that all birthright israel trips are one sided and unidimensional. I know that my homies at IsraelExperts go to great pains to offer as balanced a view of Israel as possible. 10 days is not a lot of time but if the trip participants are inspired to go off and learn more about the conflict, then a good job was done by all. For my part I’d like to know more about these Bina Kehilla guys – who are they, who runs the organization, where does their funding come from etc. They seem even handed in that they meet with both settlers and Palestinians but still … I wanna know more.

  6. Ronen, your “one sided” sillyness must come to a stop 🙂 As far as I know one person can hold up to one opinion on one issue. if a person is not sure what he thinks about a specific issue, then he doesnt have an established opinion on it, which doesn’t contradict the idea that a person cant have more than one opinion about one issue. either you like chumus, dont like chumus, or not sure about it. In any case you are one sided. so whats the deal???
    btw this worked with nuanced arguments as well: either you think the fence should never been built or u think it should be built in specific way x or in specific way y or you are not sure, or you think that any fence would be good. in any case you are commited to “one side”. the sum of all your opinions or non-opinions come up to be one of the many “sides” one can choose when forming his political point of view.

  7. Birthright: the world Jewish community sponsors free trips to Israel in an attempt to spark SOME positive bond between ignorant, unaffiliated Jews and the Jewish people.
    Bina Kehillah: a small knot of self-hating Jews attempts to sever that tenuously formed bond by convincing ignorant Jews that Israel is illegitimate.

  8. will ther trip include visits to families of suicide bombers to hear about “their legitimate grievances”?Maybe it will include a trip to the Sbarro Pizzeria exhibit with its true to”martyrdom operation”authenticity .If the organizers arent scum then the are incredibly naive.Its not a fuckign game of soccer going on between Israelis and Palestinians.

  9. How can they be self-loathing Jews if they’re not Jews at all? If you actually read the About page, the trip is in conjuction with Holy Land Trust, certainly not a Jewish organization in the least, and is not also being organized with an equivalent organization on the Israeli side.

  10. Thank you Ari, Alexbnm, Ben_David for honesty and backing me up.
    ck come on don’t be silly.
    “This is an expedition to truly explore the injustices that exist in Israel-Palestine today, and to bear witness to these injustices in our own communities ” …”see, firsthand, the privations that water-theft has wreaked on Hebron, be subject to checkpoint security, and meet people who have been physically and psychologically damaged by the conflict.”
    ck when you see mention of ‘poor palestinians’ and no mention of Jews who were hurt, and they refer to the country as Israel/palestine – only ‘poor palistinians’ you could tell right way that it is run by self-haters or Non-Jews.
    You write: “They seem even handed…” Come-on how could you say that unless you were looking at another site…

  11. A Christian or non-theological tour of Israel, like the one sold at allisrael.com, will take you to many Palestinian areas. The allisrael tour goes inside “the wall”, through the west bank, through Palestinian refugee camps, to Arab towns inside israel, and many more places that one wouldn’t visit on a Jewish tour. I don’t know how much you would actually learn about the conflict in 10-days, especially if you don’t speak Arabic or Hebrew. But you can certainly get an idea of how Israelis and Palestinians live, plus a nice vacation, on one of the many Christian tours that are offered.

  12. Asaf,
    Yes, my one side is that I think Birthright is one of the best initiatives in Israel-Diaspora relations ever.
    My point was that the ad was criticizing BR as “one-sided” when it is also a one-sided trip. It it had said “come on an ultra leftist anti Zionist tour of Israel” I’d have been annoyed, yes, but not logically frustrated.

  13. I don’t see how Bina Kehilla is one sided. By “immersing ourselves in Israeli and Palestine culture by staying in hotels and in communities impacted by the ongoing problems of the region,” we will be engaged in truth and seeing what is actually going on. Why is this so threatening to you Joe Schmoe? Are you afraid of what people will actually see in Israel/ Palestine?

  14. I, along with another couple friends, are slightly considering applying if nothing more than to see another side of the conflict that is never shown on the traditional Jewish Israel trips. We are all religious Jews but open to understanding and feel the hurt of the Palestinians and don’t simply regard them as evil Arabs who want to kill all the Jews as so many of our co-religionists do. Probably, in the end we won’t end up going on the trip but it would be nice if there were more trips like that, maybe with a little (ok, alot) more background on the organizers, the objectives and itinerary of places being visited, etc. Are we too afraid as a Jewish community to feel for the “stranger in our midst?”

  15. Daniel:
    I don’t see how Bina Kehilla is one sided. By “immersing ourselves in Israeli and Palestine culture by staying in hotels and in communities impacted by the ongoing problems of the region,”
    – – – – – – – – –
    There is a lovely seaside hotel built by Israelis in Gaza – bankrupted first by Palestinian missiles and now by the withdrawal plan.
    Will this qualify as a “hotel/community impacted by the ongoing problems of the region” or not?
    What about the Israeli hotel that was bombed on Passover? Is that on the itinerary?
    What about the hotels in Sinai that were bombed?
    The blather about “communities impacted by the conflict” is leftie code for “we will visit places that convince you of the Palestinian greivance, and totally ignore the violent attacks on Israelis.”
    Still wondering why it’s “one-sided”?

  16. Sadly, I agree with Ben David on this one– it is clearly propaganda code. Although I would argue that most people visiting Israel don’t need to see terror victims, I think they need to develop a bond with their ancient homeland. And Daniel– nobody called this group one sided until they called Birthright one sided first. I was just pointing out that they are guilty of the same crime.
    There is nothing wrong with learning about Palestinian grievances, and learning to humanize those so often berated by ultra rght wing Jews. Doing so in a context that villanizes all of Israel is very problematic though, and I think the worry is that this BK group would do just that.
    I wrote this comment hours ago and forgot to hit submit… d’oh!

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