New Voices has just confirmed that the planned J Street U Birthright trip has been canceled.
On Jan. 25, J Street U, the campus arm of J Street — the pro-Israel, pro-peace lobby in Washington, announced that it would be leading a Birthright trip called “Explore Israel: Progressive Zionism and Social Justice” this summer. The trip was to be run in conjunction with Israel Experience, a trip provider.
But apparently, 48 hours later, Birthright decided to cancel the trip.
According to a statement by J Street U student president Moriel Rothman, this is what happened:
Despite their initial approval for a trip… Birthright’s leadership has now decided that it is inappropriate for J Street U to organize a trip because we are politically oriented, according to Israel Experience.
Rothman, however, goes on to point out:
Nonetheless, comparable organizations with different politics than ours participate and help organize trips every year. For instance, AIPAC’s “Capital to Capital” Birthright trip is designed for Jewish political activists who are “significantly involved in the American political process.”
Rothman also claims that over 100 students had signed up for the trip within two days of its being announced.
New Voices will be publishing a full article on this by the end of the week. Stay tuned.