Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Know Thy Heritage Holds Inaugural Banquet

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Know Thy Heritage Holds Inaugural Banquet

Article excerpt

Know Thy Heritage (KTH) launched itself as a stand-alone organization at an inaugural banquet at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, VA on April 27. KTH sponsors Palestinians in the Diaspora, aged 18 to 35, who want to discover their roots in Palestine. KTH has existed for several years as part of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF). With this new launch, the organization seeks to appeal to a much wider base of Palestinians living throughout the U.S., Canada, South and Latin America, Europe and Australia.

For decades, pro-Israel groups such as Birthright, or the American Israel Education Foundation (an AIPAC spin-off), and others have organized and financed trips to Israel for Jewish Americans. Those tours entice many to stay and serve in various Israeli institutions, including the Israeli army, or to return to the U.S. and advocate on behalf of Israel. KTH hopes to encourage Palestinians to visit their homeland and get to know firsthand the challenges and joys Palestinians living under Israeli occupation endure and experience on a daily basis.

Rateb Rabie, president of HCEF and KTH, noted that, "Over the past eight years, the KTH Leadership Program has grown into a global movement, and succeeded in connecting Palestinian youth in the Diaspora to their shared homeland and to one another, building a network of advocates who work collaboratively for the unification of Palestinians everywhere." He added, "In spite of the many challenges we face as Palestinians, both at home and abroad, KTH continues to produce bold 'Ambassadors of Peace' who are taking the program to new heights each year. …

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