The inaugural Harvard College Israel Trek (Spring Break, March 14th- 23rd) will bring 50 Harvard undergraduate students to Israel in hopes of facilitating a nuanced first encounter with the country, its history, narratives, culture, politics and people. Student participants represent diverse religious, national, and cultural backgrounds, and are all leaders in various capacities on campus.Sounds great, right? It is wonderful to give students the opportunity to see the side of Israel that they wouldn't otherwise be exposed to. The students are led by Israelis - Arabs and Jews - who know the country. The students who are on the trip are a very diverse group of undergraduates.
The Trek is being led by a dynamic team of Israeli undergraduates, and will draw on the narratives of its participants and leaders, placing a special emphasis on fostering meaningful personal relationships. This component will add a unique and personal dimension to this particular Israel experience.
Students will learn about Israeli history, culture, and politics. Some of the topics explored will include the hi-tech industry, the emerging cultural landscape, questions regarding religion and state, the peace process and Israel’s geopolitical position in the region.
Israel Trek is made possible by the generous contributions of a number of family foundations and Boston’s Combined Jewish Philanthropies. The Trek is supported by Harvard Hillel.
So why the hell did this trip, sponsored by Jewish organizations and Harvard Hillel, take the students to pose at the grave of a mass murderer of Jews?
Its wonderful to expose people to both sides of the story, but it is stupid to embrace the side of the story that wants to see you gone. Israel Trek could have arranged for a few hours with an Arab tour guide in Judea and Samaria, or they could have given students a free day, or any number of other options. But to have supposed Jewish organizations arrange for a visit to a terrorist who was responsible, directly or indirectly, for the gruesome murder of thousands - and to take a photo of students smiling in the presence of such disgusting filth - is beyond belief.
News bulletin: People respect you more when you have some self respect. Telling the students that they are free to do what they want, but that the leaders of the trip find the idea of paying respects to a terrorist is repugnant, is far preferable to promulgating the "all narratives are equally valid" idiocy that passes for enlightened opinion nowadays.
This is a sickness.
(h/t Daniel Mael at TruthRevolt)