BIRTHRIGHT FALLOUT TEACHES A GROUP OF YOUNG AMERICANS THAT RULES CANNOT JUST BE IGNORED WITHOUT CONSEQUENCES
This morning I read a story about a group of young American Jewish people who took a free trip to Israeli via Birthright and now are being stranded and must raise money for a flight home.
In case you are unfamiliar with Birthright, they allow those of the Jewish faith to visit Israel free of charge.
Israel is a beautiful place and despite the constant political turmoil in the region, I always love to visit.
In fact, I was there for a Mayors’ conference earlier this year as part of my role as Vice President of the American Jewish Congress and I had a terrific trip and met some wonderful people.
This is the experience you CAN have when you visit Israel.
However, if you decide to go via Birthright and allow them to pay for your trip, you must adhere to those rules.
One such rule is that you may not leave the tour at any time, and if you do, you are not permitted to return.
The young people I mentioned at the beginning of this article decided to lave the tour to speak with a Palestinian family living nearby who was going to be evicted.
They want to hear this family’s story and felt the people at Birthright and those they would come in contact with on the tour would not level with them and tell them the truth.
I admire the desire these young people have to find the truth and I applaud their decision to leave if they felt that was best for them.
However, I also applaud Birthright for canceling their tickets home and laving them to find their own way back.
The fact is, whether or not these young people were justified in doing what they did, the rules were very clear: you leave the trip at any time and you cannot come back.
They violated this rule willingly and knowingly and now must suffer the consequences.
Despite their protests that this is unfair, it is not.
In life, when somebody provides you with a free trip that is conditional, you need to adhere to those conditions.
Which is why the sounds of these Americans whining about being left behind is going to continue to fall on deaf ears.
They have every right to stand up for what they feel is just, but they need to learn that often comes with consequences.
Have a look throughout history and you will see story after story of people who stood up for themselves and paid a price, doing so willingly, because they thought it was worth the sacrifice.
The current generation does not seem to understand this concept, believing that they should be able to have their cake and eat it, too.
Except that is not how life works.
Not at all.
So while I am glad these Americans had the courage of their convictions, I hope they come away from this experience having learned a lesson about the real world.
Life is about choices.
They just made one.
And now, it is time to live with the repercussions.