Photo Credit: Yossi Zamir / Flash 90

A group of five activists from the far-left IfNotNow Jewish organization infiltrated a Birthright group in Israel last week and offered a tour of Hebron to other members of the group with “Breaking the Silence”. “Breaking the Silence” is an extreme Left group, heavily funded by the EU is dedicated to exhibiting Israeli soldiers and officers in the very worst possible light and possibly lead to legal action against them.

“IfNotNow”, which says it seeks to “end American Jewish support for the occupation,” launched a new campaign this week called “Not Just A Free Trip”, in which it says it is using “a diversity of methods” to teach Birthright participants about “the daily nightmare of Occupation.”


It appears that one of the methods is to actively infiltrate Birthright groups without the organization’s knowledge, and influence the other participants regarding the political conflict with the Palestinians by offering them tours and other activities without Birthright’s permission.

So now, the famous “Birthright” free trip to Israel is being used as a Trojan horse by misguided brats to undermine Israel and besmirch its defenders and people.

“Birthright” funded by well-meaning Jews whose aim is to preserve Jewish identity and pride among a population that is largely ignorant of their Jewish identity and are fed consistent anti-Israel propaganda, finds itself now a tool for the opposite.

“Birthright” is basically a Liberal, PC organization, extremely careful about not being perceived as too “partisan” or even too “Jewish”.

I know because, as one who has guided these groups on a number of occasions, I am no longer asked to do so.

I am blacklisted on Birthright (as I am on many other organizations and companies who lose sleep over being accused of being too nationalistic or partisan).

Nuance, diversity and “feeling the other” are some of the house rules.

I broke those rules some years ago.

I recall clearly the morning that I was scratched from the Birthright list.

It was just after the “Oslo” calamity when one morning the general manager himself showed up to see for himself if there is indeed a guide who is suggesting questioning the current consensus – the wisdom and humanity of the recently signed Oslo accords with the terrorist Arafat and his minions.

It was Mr. Brug himself, the brother of the then prime minister Ehud Barak (give away the Golan to Assad, flee south Lebanon in the middle of the night, offer Arafat 97% of Judea Samaria…) who was there to inspect and question me. (I wonder how he got that job?) In answer to his questions, I did not veer from the truth and so I was never asked back again.

The political Commissar was outraged. All organizations who operate “Birthright” including the OU will not hire me for fear of their superiors who hold the purse strings.

I recall all this today as I read the first item about the spoiled brats who proudly, as celebrities, fell into the arms of the waiting traitors of “Breaking the Silence”.

So what will happen now?

I am sure that Birthright is embarrassed and worried about this precedent. They should be.

What is the solution? Extreme vetting? Refund demands? A well-funded PR campaign explaining how Birthright really does present all sides? Extreme surveillance of the group at all times?

All the above might very well just encourage the martyr/celeb attraction of the rebel being ignorant, selfish, ingrate as they are.

What about this idea?

What about just telling it like it is?

What about explaining why we are indeed right and they are wrong?

It is really very easy. I do it all the time. Of course, that was my last job at times, but no matter, I am here to talk about it.

In my experience, this is what makes Jews proud of who they are and of their embattled Jewish country – only this.

If called upon, I will give free seminars to Birthright guides and detox them from the fears that have accompanied them for so long.

PC has not worked. Young people can tell when they are being told the whole truth or when hearing a prescribed script.

Let’s make our young people proud and give them the tools to tell it like it is. PC be damned.

The facts are on our side. Use them. I guarantee great results.


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Shalom Pollack, a veteran Israeli tour guide, served in the Israeli Navy and lectures on the Mideast.