Allison Benedikt writes: In 2012, Los Angeles native Max Steinberg traveled to Israel for the first time, on a 10-day trip sponsored by Birthright Israel. A few months later, he joined the Israel Defense Forces. On Sunday, he died fighting in Gaza, leaving behind his parents, who will now take their first trip to Israel to bury their 24-year-old son.
There are many people to blame for Steinberg’s death. There is the Hamas fighter behind the weapon that actually killed him. There are the leaders, on both sides, who put him in Gaza, and the leaders behind all of the wars between Israel and the Palestinians. I can trace it back to 1948, or 1917, or whatever date suits you and still never find all the parties who are responsible. But I have no doubt in my mind that along with all of them, Birthright shares some measure of the blame. [Continue reading…]