Thursday, January 14, 2010

English Ediitor of Ma'an News Agency - Birthright Graduate

Score another for Birthright.

BBC reports:

A US citizen working as an editor for a Palestinian news agency is appealing against Israel's refusal to allow him into the West Bank. Jared Malsin has been detained since he returned from a holiday in Prague on Tuesday evening, his colleagues said.
Mr Malsin is the English language editor for the [Ma'an] news agency.

...Mr Malsin and his partner, Faith Rowold, both in their twenties, were detained and interrogated for eight hours on trying to re-enter Israel after a holiday in Prague, Maan said...George Hale, one of Mr Malsin's colleagues at Maan, said they had both been in the region for two years, Mr Malsin working for Maan and Ms Rowold volunteering for the Lutheran Church in Jerusalem.

Maan claimed to have seen "interrogation transcripts" showing Mr Malsin's detention was linked to his work as a journalist.

Mr Hale said Mr Malsin was well known to Israeli military and government officials...Mr Malsin, a Yale graduate, had initially come to Israel on the Birthright programme, which funds visits to Israel for young Jewish Americans.

It was not clear whether Mr Malsin had a valid visa allowing him to work in Israel and the West Bank....three-month tourist not provide permission to work and may not be extended.


bermanator said...

I did Taglit last year. The vast majority of participants were totally ignorant on Israel, Zionism, and Judaism, and a few of them didn't even "consider themselves Jewish". They admittedly just wanted a free vacation.

Other than myself, only two other people (out of close to 40) had any knowledge of the conflict or an interest in learning about it. I didn't expect Taglit to concentrate on hamatzav as Israel certainly isn't defined by it, but it was shocking how little people actually knew about it.

Anyways, I hope you don't think Birthright is a total waste of time. They just need to do a better job of selecting applicants. If I hadn't gone on that initial trip, I wouldn't be making Aliyah next month!

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