Project Interchange hosted a diverse delegation of German Policy Advisors & Journalists. Participants include parliamentary staffers, state officials, journalists and civil society leaders who represent all of the major political parties in Germany: the Christian Democratic Union, the Young Christian Democrats and Alliance 90/The Greens. Participants were accompanied on their travels by Deidre Berger, the Director AJC’s Berlin Office. Participants discussed Israeli foreign policy with the Foreign Ministry’s Head of Middle Eastern Affairs Nimrod Barkan and Director of the Division for Multilateral European Institutions Sammy Ravel. Germany’s Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Harald Kindermann, hosted a reception and discussed the German-Israel relationship.
Though it was my 4th trip to Israel the AJC seminar offered me a range of most interesting and valuable insights into aspects of Israeli society I did not know much if anything about so far. Having to deal with the political situation in the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in my professional position I much appreciated in particular the fact that the seminar program – without leaving those issues aside - aimed at broadening that rather narrow focus towards a more general view on present-day life in Israel.
I would highlight another element, though it may sound paradoxically at first: What left the greatest impression with most of us was Israel itself, as a whole–people, landscape, climate, nature, culture, society, dynamics, patriotism, youth … You see from the associative enumeration of impressions that exposure to the complexity of Israel did work out, even more so when it is not only the mind that is exposed.