The Jewish Agency has cut funding from an Israel trip for young Jews over allegations that trip leaders brought participants to at a leftist protest camp in the West Bank, Haaretz reported.
The Israel trip, called Achvat Amim, is run by the socialist Zionist youth movement Hashomer Hatzair and funded by the Jewish Agency’s MASA program. The trip brought American Jews to volunteer for Israeli-Arab coexistence groups. Last month, a right-wing Israeli organization accused Achvat Amim of taking participants to West Bank protest camp, where they shouted at Israeli soldiers.
Achvat Amim said particpants went to the protest camp on their own. The group’s leader, Daniel Roth, said participants never clashed with Isareli soldiers.
“We face a big challenge these days as a left-wing Zionist organization trying to convince young Jews abroad that it is possible to oppose the occupation and at the same time support Israel,” Hashomer Hatzair secretary general Oren Zukerkorn told Haarets. “If it weren’t for programs like this that target left-wing Jews, these kids would be pushed straight into the hands of the BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] movement.”
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.
Jewish Agency Defunds Youth Group