Birthright Israel, funded by the Israeli government and Jewish philanthropists, provides free all-inclusive 10-day trips to Israel for Jewish young adults. The program's goal is to promote Israel along with general Jewish unity and engagement. The blog Jewlicious has a category about these trips. (Scroll down past many promotional entries for the interesting stuff.) Some question its efficacy and results, while some Jews subvert the program. The trips end with a "Mega Rally" featuring entertainment, giant inflatable Stars of David, and speeches by dignitaries including PM Ehud Olmert. Here is video coverage (FLV) of the most recent rally. There is also a satirical Something Awful report.
Cadence engineer fired for activism: So, an engineer for Cadence Design Systems, on his own time and dime went to Bethlehem to do humanitarian work with the International Solidarity Movement, a group of pro-Palestinian activists who believe in non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. When he returned, he was immediately terminated due to "inappropriate politics in an area where Cadence does business (Israel)". Should corporations have the right to mandate the political views of their employees, contractors and subsidiary workers? Would there be more outrage if he was fired for supporting the Israeli occupation? When a Christian's beliefs run contrary to Jewish interests, is it automatically fair to fire the Christian?