I found incredibly amusing the Facebook post a very Progressive friend of mine wrote about her daughter. During her gap year (a break between high school and college), the daughter wanted to do the very Marin thing of going to work on an organic farm natural habitats in Africa. When the gal ran the numbers, though, she discovered that this type of charitable work would cost her a fortune. She therefore abandoned the plan (apparently charity’s only worthwhile if it’s free and fun) and, instead, is leaving soon for a “birthright” trip to Israel.
A trip to Israel is a wonderful thing. Unless they’re dumb as posts, the Progressive kids who go on it come back realizing a couple of things — (1) that Israelis are not evil Nazis and (2) that Israel is a vulnerable in a teeny country surrounded by haters. I therefore think it’s great that the girl is going to Israel.
Moreover, a “birthright” trip to Israel is a wonderful way to go. It’s a free trip that introduces young American Jews to the Jewish nation. They tour all over and meet fascinating Israelis who help them understand that dynamic little liberal democracy buried in a theocratic, totalitarian region.
In other words, there’s nothing funny about the gal going to Israel. What is funny is that the biggest funder (or one of the biggest funders) behind the “birthright” program is Sheldon Adelson. Adelson, whom I greatly admire, is a conservative/libertarian. He is the antithesis of everything this young woman has been raised to believe. Nevertheless, she’d rather take his money for a free trip than spend her own money to help out a Progressive-approved charitable endeavor.
* It’s important to note here that the young woman’s parents staunchly support Israel. It’s just that they also support a president who is doing everything he can to empower Iran while destroying Israel, and a political party that is becoming increasingly open about its old-fashioned antisemitism. In other words, they are both perfect representatives of the kind of “thinkers” that the modern Ivy League (both went to Harvard) is churning out.