Before criticizing Birthright Israel and embracing the biased narrative of J Street, the Opinion writers Axel Hufford and Steven Povich should take a “Birthright America” trip (“Birthright Tells Only Half The Story,” May 17). They might visit Native American reservations, where there is far more poverty and lack of medical care than they will find in the Palestinian Authority. They might find lots of places where the American story is far different than what they experience in Dartmouth or their own communities.
These naive students should tour Palestinian mosques, schools and media where they would find hate gushing forth against Israel and praise awarded to their terrorists. They should listen to the Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel and killing of Jews.
The students should learn that the Palestinian refugee camps, which don’t really house refugees and have all modern conveniences, were built as a result of a war initiated by the Arabs to destroy Israel and have been sustained for their impact on impressionable people, like students, when they could have and should have been torn down decades ago.
Those are but a few of the hard truths Birthright and J Street omit in the discussion of Israel, but are readily available to those who truly care about Israel and want to be its advocates.
A 10-day tour conducted by Birthright Israel cannot possibly educate young people on the complexities of Israeli life and the Palestinian conflict, and everything from J Street should be considered suspect as they are consistent critics of Israel, while they ignore the hard truths about the Palestinians.
College freshmen are hardly in a position to lecture anyone on what “Israel truly needs to flourish and survive.”
Silver Spring, Md.