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Breaking the Silence marketing tours to Birthrighters

Breaking the Silence — the organization of former IDF soldiers who talk about their experiences serving in the Occupied Territories in an effort to expose the everyday reality of Israeli control of the West Bank — is now marketing its tours of the West Bank to participants of the Birthright-Israel trip while here in Israel. Anyone who extends their stay in Israel beyond the free 10-day trip is offered a free tour to Hebron and the South Hebron Hills that allow an “unmediated encounter with the reality of military occupation.”

Below is a video of Breaking the Silence volunteers walking around the Machane Yehuda market in Jerusalem handing out flyers and talking to Birthright participants, in an effort to get them interested and informed.

Ironically, the initiative by BTS responds to what MK Danny Danon, chairman of the Knesset Committee on Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, has recently demanded (Hebrew): that Birthright trips, which are partially funded by the State of Israel, should stop “boycotting Judea and Samaria” and begin taking their participants there, otherwise he threatened to cut their government funding. Indeed Birthright-Israel has a policy of not entering “the West Bank, Gaza or East Jerusalem” (except the Old City, and they sometimes make an exception for the “City of David” located in the Palestinian East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan).

Somehow I’m certain Danny Danon will not applaud this specific initiative, even though it does fulfill his wish that Diaspora Jews coming on free trips to Israel get a chance to see “all of Israel.”

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    1. abdalla

      great job guys!!! everyone needs to see both sides and make their own decisions

      Reply to Comment
    2. Naomi Siebenberg-Santoro

      Wonderful! Kal HaKovod! Power to you!

      Reply to Comment
    3. This is great! I am delighted to hear about this. Breaking the Silence are doing an incredibly important work, in an encouraging and thoughtful manner.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Empress Trudy

      Whatever you do don’t perpetrate the lie of the “temple” for as we know from Wafa, there was no temple, never was a temple and it is mere a lie.


      (in their own words, on their own news site, in English)

      Reply to Comment
    5. Empress Trudy


      There’s always two sides to the story. That’s why it’s important to focus on the ethnic cleansing of essentially 100% of the Jews from the Maghreb and Mizrahi. I do hope that when PLO-Hamasistan is finally created we have a memory of the left’s rabid eagerness to ethnically cleanse all the Jews from YESHA as well. While only 20% of the population, it’s still noteworthy.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Eitan


      Reply to Comment
    7. Empress Trudy

      To be fair though, I think Hamas should have a summer program for American leftist Jews so they can experience a summer of fun and education under Sharia and such. Young women and gays would be extra welcome.

      Reply to Comment
    8. PHIL


      What does Wafa have to do with breaking the silence and/or birthright?

      Reply to Comment
    9. Nate

      “a free tour to Hebron and the South Hebron Hills”

      If you follow the link, it states: “Please note that our public tours cost NIS 70 per person.” I’m not sure if there are private (free?) tours for Birthright people, but they’re not listed on that page…

      Reply to Comment
    10. Empress Trudy

      What it has to do with is that if you fools think this is nothing but the story of competing narratives then you must actually tell and support the narrative they’re selling. It’s not our story, it’s yours. So don’t be shy. That’s the ‘anti-Taglit’. Embrace it and let each decide on their own.

      I’m sorry that was too subtle for you.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Empress Trudy

      Perhaps the anti-Taglit could meet this Hamas rockstar interviewed by Slate magazine:
      And by rockstar I mean bomb builder.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Empress Trudy

      Maybe they’ll get to visit Gilad Shalit?

      Reply to Comment
    13. Mordechai Ben Yosef

      Yes Trudy there are two narratives, but there is only one truth. The “Shma Yisroel” prayer at the core of Judaism is clear. One God=one truth. Our obligation is to seek this truth, not create a self-serving narrative, which is another form of idol worship.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Empress Trudy

      So in your postmodernist world, Mordechai, where everything is everything, what about the GOOD things that southern plantation slavery accomplished? What about the good things the Third Reich did?

      I mean they’re just points of view, yes?

      Reply to Comment
    15. Tactical Nuclear Housecat

      Gilad Shalit is quite clearly dead. Further negotiations are stupid. This is not to say that all the Palestinians shouldn’t be released from prisons, they should. But it must be done in exchange for nothing since there’s nothing to exchange them for.

      Reply to Comment