Since the year 2000, the Taglit-Birthright Israel program has brought over 400,000 young Jewish people on 10-day, all-expenses paid trips to the Holy Land. The requirements for being young and Jewish involve being between the ages of 18 and 26 and having at least one Jewish grandparent.
To briefly illustrate the injustice of the arrangement: among the multitude of trip veterans is a former acquaintance of mine who was adopted into a mind-bogglingly wealthy part-Jewish family and was therefore deemed more deserving of a “birthright” and a funded trip than Palestinians literally born in the territory in question.
The point of the program is to cultivate a love affair between the Jewish state and members of the global Jewish community whose enthusiasm for Israel may not be sufficiently fanatical. This is often done by encouraging individual amorous relationships and hook-ups between participants on the excursion, which has led to a boost in Jewish “inmarriages” and in some cases immigration to Israel.
As journalist Kiera Feldman noted in her 2011 exposé for The Nation, titled “The Romance of Birthright Israel”: “Many groups pass a night in a fake Bedouin tent, where participants sleep crowded together, a setup conducive to first kisses.” READ MORE AT TeleSUR ENGLISH.