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