US/World News

J Street Birthright-style Israel trip will include Palestinians

(JTA) – J Street, the liberal Israel policy group, will compete with Birthright by launching its own free trip to Israel for college students. Organized by J Street U, the group’s college arm, it will take 40 students to Israel and the West Bank for 10 days in July. Along with visiting sites in Israel, the group will meet Palestinian activists, Israeli social justice activists and Israeli settlers. Birthright, the free 10-day trip to Israel for Jewish young adults, has included more than half a million participants over two decades. It does not visit the West Bank and groups do not hear from Palestinians. J Street was set to run a trip through Birthright in 2011, but plans fell through, with Birthright claiming that the trip had never been approved. Last year, groups of Birthright participants associated with the anti-occupation group IfNotNow walked off their trips in protest of its curriculum.

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