Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Max Berger, co-founder of IfNotNow, made some very bizarre and almost certainly false claims about Birthright on Twitter last night:

Every birthright trip includes a heavy dose of right wing propaganda.

My trip leader was a settler who told us all Arabs were terrorists and threatened to throw me off the trip for my "Arab beliefs." American Jews were hazed by Israeli soldiers who pushed pins into their chests.
On my trip, one of our evening activities was a simulation of a checkpoint, in which we had to pretend to be IDF soldiers denying entry to pleading Palestinian women.

Even if they told us their children were sick, we were to deny everyone entry. It was horrifying.

He was immediately challenged:
David Sebs @dsebs

I went on a trip in 2012 and this couldn't be further from the truth.

If anything our guide was extremely sympathetic to the Palestinians... Even organizing Ultimate Frisbee tournaments with those on the other side of the 'wall'.

Gritty 2020🔥 @maxberger

It totally depends on your trip leader. They are discouraged from talking about the conflict, but some bend the rules.

David Sebs @dsebs

I mean you mentioned 'every Birthright trip' and then conceded that it 'depends on your trip leader.'

You understand the hypocrisy in that right?

I'm not even trolling, but it c'mon....

Melissa Weiss
I don’t often call people liars, but I went on Birthright as a student. Dozens of my friends have staffed and guided trips. Hundreds of my friends and colleagues have been participants over the years. Not a single one has had the experience Max describes. Not a single one.
Berger backtracks big time:
Gritty 2020🔥  @maxberger
Replying to @melissaeweiss
I don't think this was the least bit typical! Lots of stuff happened on my trip that wasn't according to protocol. But the larger point still holds.
The "larger point," apparently, that Birthright is still right wing propaganda even if his own supposed case was an outlier. And if that really happened, there would be lots of people talking about it.I

Berger was asked repeatedly the name of the leader of his trip. Obviously, if his claims were true, everyone from the left to the far right would condemn it. But he won't say.

His "bravery" at "exposing" Birthright apparently doesn't extend to allowing himself to be fact-checked.

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