Arutz Sheva spoke with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who is currently in Israel leading a Birthright Israel trip.
Rabbi Boteach noted that it’s “a pleasure to be in Israel, whatever the reason,” and that he tries to lead a Birthright trip every several years.
“I feed off the energy of Jews from around the world. I love seeing their reaction to this country,” he said, noting the uniqueness of Birthright as “probably the only organization that reaches Jews of this age group without a lot of Jewish background.”
At the same time, Rabbi Boteach added that he currently has a specific goal of showing solidarity with the Birthright organization itself which, “of late, is under attack.”
He pointed to radical left-wing groups such as “If Not Now,” which has been known to encourage its members to join Birthright trips only to demonstratively walk off them midway, claiming that Birthright does not present the “Palestinian perspective.”
“There are groups trying to disrupt the trips,” Rabbi Boteach said. “They have the right to tell their story, but not lie.”
“Birthright is above politics, it’s about connecting to the wonders of Israel,” the rabbi said.
“If you encourage kids to go on the trips to lie, that’s immoral.”