If you're a tourist in Israel, as I was for the past two weeks, you're probably going to spend a fair amount of time at various tourist attractions jostling for space with groups on Birthright. There they were, wearing bright orange lanyards and chattering in English about cheap souvenirs in Carmel Market, or making it impossible to read the somber explanatory placards at the Holocaust museum. I even ran into them in Shalom Meir Tower, an uncharismatic office building in Tel Aviv. I was browsing the little exhibits, wondering how exactly I ended up there, when a group filed in and their guide started asking basic questions, like "Where is Jaffa on this giant relief map of Tel Aviv?" and "What does Tel Aviv mean in Hebrew?" The crowd of young people seemed more interested in sitting in each other’s laps than paying attention. One kid guessed that Tel Aviv meant "mountain spring," and then was mildly ridiculed by the guide. (She was all like, "
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