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.
Beautiful early Zionist propaganda posters, courtesy of the Swann Galleries. The first 73 items in this large batch of vintage posters up for auction are related to Israel, Jews or anti-Semitism. [via Paperholic]
A Powerful Lobby The Middle East scholar Martin Kramer takes on the various writers, sites, that proclaim that the American invasion of Iraq is but one more indication of the Jewish/Israeli Lobby influence in America. One of the nuttiest passages in "The Israel Lobby," the co-production of professors Stephen Walt (Harvard) and John Mearsheimer (University of Chicago), occurs in the very first footnote. (It's in the full version, on the website of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.)... and, in addtion addresses our involvement in Iraq, caused, claim some, by "Jewish/Israeli interests." [more]
The Guardian isn't so good at letting you link to their articles anymore. But if you use this link then click on "printable version" you might get to the site I want you to link to. My title being: If you're Jewish and American its hard to know whose side your on these days.
The far right's success in setting the national agenda is provoking an identity crisis for Israel. Radical settlers are effectively in the driver's seat and are redefining Zionism in terms that threaten the future of a Jewish state. Meanwhile, demographics is a hotter issue than ever in Israel, as Israelis on the right and left struggle with the questions "Can Israel be a Jewish and democratic state? Is there any such animal?" [More inside.]