Friday, June 22, 2018

IfNotNow 2, Establishment Jewish Organizations 0

Following Ramah's histrionic letter disavowing IfNotNow and saying they'd never allow "antisemitic" content in their Israel curriculum, Birthright trip leaders act like overzealous middle school field trip chaperones while trying to block their trip participants from chatting with INN activists at JFK airport.
Participants for the most part merely listened quietly to [INN activist Andy] Ratto and the other activists there. 
The trip leaders, however, repeatedly stepped in to tell the activists to stop talking with the participants. As the leaders became more agitated, tensions escalated. 
Ratto, attempting to contextualize the activists’ position, offered postcards to a few trip leaders with some introductory information about IfNotNow. 
A trip leader took a postcard and tore it apart in front of several participants.The cards also contained questions participants can ask during the trip, such as, “What is the occupation?” “Will I have the chance to meet with Palestinians on my trip?” 
“They’re coming in, trying to fill their minds with stuff,” the trip leader later said. He gave his name only as Tyler.
As the article indicates later on, several of the trip participants came away unimpressed by "Tyler's" decision to literally rip up informational packets in front of their eyes. Way to lead, Tyler!

And that makes twice in a month where, in a confrontation between establishment Jewish organization and IfNotNow, I've come away more annoyed at the former. For someone like me, who's very establishment-oriented and very wary of IfNotNow, that's actually kind of a big deal.

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