Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe

Letter | No One Is Forcing You To Go On A Free Trip To Israel

Dear Editor,

I disagree with Scott Boxer in his piece “These Hasbara Tours Bribe Jews To Be Pro-Israel And Make Birthright Seem Lefty”.

No one is forced to go on a free trip to Israel. Students can choose from a wide range of programs, either exploring new views or hoping to have their own views reinforced; determining the stances of ZOA, J Street, and Hasbara Fellows should be quite straightforward.

“West Bank” and “settler” are, indeed, loaded terms. Why imply that Jews in Judea and Samaria are colonial intruders? Some of the first Jews to build homes in Judea and Samaria were the children of the Jews ethnically-cleansed from their land in 1948.

Jewish businesses in Judea and Samaria, employing Israelis and Palestinians and serving Israeli and Palestinian customers, should be lauded as a first, necessary step toward achieving Two States for Two Peoples. They give Israelis and Palestinians the opportunity of getting to know each other, person-to-person.

Whether Mr. Bower believes it or not, the actions of leaders do make a difference. The vast majority of Palestinians may not hate Jews. But, they have grown up seeing the murderers of Jews highly honored and richly rewarded by the PA and Hamas. The insistence that Israel take in the “Palestine refugees,” even if a Palestinian state is established, is an indication that Palestinian leaders, if they cannot destroy Israel by force, seek to convert the nation-state of the Jews into a Muslim state, where Jews will be second-class citizens, if they are tolerated at all.

Toby F. Block

Atlanta, Georgia


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.