J Street U is grateful for the Union for Reform Judaism’s recent letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu, which raises serious questions about Israel’s deeply troubling travel ban. The ban blocks anyone advocating for any kind of boycott, divestment or sanctions against Israel or Israeli settlements from entering the country.
As Rabbi Rick Jacobs wrote in his letter, the ban undermines Israel’s democratic character and could block many young American Jews, who do not buy settlement products as a personal choice, from coming into Israel. He cites a letter signed by over 500 young, American Jews from a wide variety of political backgrounds – including individuals from Hillel, Chabad, Students Supporting Israel, AIPAC, Hasbara and the URJ’s own NFTY – all concerned about their and their peers’ ability to travel to Israel under the ban.
The URJ is far from the only American Jewish organization to come out against the travel ban. It has been joined by a broad spectrum of groups including the New Israel Fund, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee. We urge other American Jewish organizations, which collectively represent the diverse array of students who participate in organized Israel trips, to do the same.