Co-founder of Birthright Israel Gives Middle Finger to Jewish College Students [Video]
— JewishVoiceForPeace (@jvplive) April 16, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2018
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The students pledged to boycott the free Israel trip until Palestinian have the right to return to their homes.
New York City, NY: As Michael Steinhardt, co-founder of Birthright Israel and hedge-fund manager, arrived at the Birthright Israel annual gala Sunday evening in New York City, he gave the middle finger to a group of Jewish college students gathered to boycott Birthright Israel. Birthright trips allow Jewish young people aged 18 to 32 to travel to Israel for free, while Israel does not allow Palestinians to return to their ancestral lands.
As the Birthright-eligible young Jews were chanting “Boycott birthright that’s our plan, no free trips on stolen land!” Steinhardt can be seen stepping from his car, staring them down and giving them the middle finger.
“It was shocking, but not surprising, that the co-founder of Birthright would disrespect the very young Jews his program is trying to recruit,” said Ben Lorber, Campus Coordinator at Jewish Voice for Peace. “Young Jews are tired of being lied to, and are demanding an American Jewish community guided by principles of justice for all people.”
“We are the Jewish future, and we’re building that Jewish future right here – in our growing movements for solidarity, justice and liberation,” said Rose Asaf, a student leader of Jewish Voice for Peace at New York University. “We refuse to be complicit in apartheid.”
Over 150 students from New York and New England colleges and universities took part in the demonstration, representing campus chapters of Jewish Voice for Peace, Students for Justice in Palestine, the Palestine Solidarity Alliance and the Democratic Socialists of America.
Wrapped in personalized tallesim (Jewish prayer shawls) and demonstrating with song and a symbolic returning of Birthright plane tickets, the college students protested in solidarity with the tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza carrying out the historic #GreatReturnMarch, honoring their popular resistance and mourning the 32 Palestinians shot and killed by Israeli forces. The names of Palestinian villages destroyed 70 years ago, and of the 32 protesters in Gaza killed in the past three weeks were read out loud.
Return the Birthright is a grassroots campaign led by Jewish college students and young Jews across North America, supported by Jewish Voice for Peace and Independent Jewish Voices, calling on young Jews to boycott Birthright and to support the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. The campaign has gathered over 1,200 signatures in a boycott petition, and is active on campuses across the country.
Jewish Voice for Peace is a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. JVP has over 200,000 online supporters, over 70 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, an Artist Council, an Academic Advisory Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.