Although it’s only February, the year has already been marked by violence for Palestinians. Subjected to near-daily raids, censorship, home demolitions, and the bombing of Gaza at the hands of Israel, violence is a regular part of the daily lives of Palestinians. At least 50 Palestinians, including 11 children, have been murdered by Israel this year.
Despite this, you would never know the horrors of the occupation by attending a Birthright trip to Israel. Birthright is a free, 10-day trip to Israel offered to young Jews (18-32) to visit Israel and the Golan Heights. The trip is filled with propaganda, and manufactures a false narrative about Israel which gives its attendees a sense of ownership over Palestine, one that tells them that they are entitled to the land over indigenous Palestinians. That’s why CODEPINK is launching its “Boycott Birthright” campaign, targeting the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and Jewish United Fund (JUF) in Chicago. Join us in telling these organizations to STOP funding Birthright by adding your name below.
To the organizations which fund Birthright,
Israel has terrorized Palestinians since the start of the Nakba in 1948. 2022 was said to be the deadliest year for Palestinians since the second intifada, and 2023 has already proven to be marked by violence at the hands of Israel. Despite this, you choose to fund trips that deliberately leave the Israeli occupation of Palestine out of the narrative.
Birthright has long been used as a tool to sustain the systems which perpetuate the occupation. It creates life-long advocates for the apartheid state, and encourages attendees to eventually settle in Israel themselves. At the same time, it paints indigenous Palestinians as aggressors and justifies the brute force used against them by manufacturing a false necessity for it. This is heightened by the constant presence of Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) soldiers and an overkill of security measures. This creates a false narrative of Israeli defense against aggression, rather than a settler-colonial state exerting power over a colonized people.
Despite this truth, your organization chooses to fund these harmful trips to Israel. In doing so, you have blood on your hands.
We, the undersigned, challenge you to face the facts, and recognize the reality of the occupation. We demand that you leave our universities, and stop spewing your propaganda to our peers. We call on you to STOP funding Birthright trips.