In June, Project Interchange brought journalists, editors and foreign correspondents from Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia and Canada to Israel. Participants represented some of the premier European media outlets including The Atlantic, Sol, Volkskrant, Tzyden, Dilema, Orienteering, Weekendavisen, Radio France International and APCOM. AJC’s Senior Research Associate of European Affairs, Marta Mucznik, accompanied the group.
Seminar highlights included an all-day media workshop with leading Israeli journalists and editors to debate and discuss the media’s portrayal of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the government’s role in ensuring freedom of the press and challenges posed to wartime journalists reporting from the Middle East. Guest speakers represented The Jerusalem Post, The Jerusalem Report; The Jerusalem Times, Ha’aretz; Russia Today; Onda Cero radio, RAI Television and the Government Press Office.
In addition, participants took a helicopter flight over Israel toward its eastern and southern borders, looking over Gaza and stopping in Sderot to examine homes damaged by Qassam missiles and to hear from locals about the impact of recent attacks upon their community. Likud Member Michael Eitan gave a tour of the Knesset, while it was in session, and spoke about the domestic hot topics of the day. Over dinner in Neve Shalom, a Jewish-Arab village, locals offered participants their personal accounts of living in Israel, from the struggles to the triumphs of multiculturalism and immigration, democracy in wartime and other realities of life in the diverse Jewish state. At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sammy Ravel, Director of the Division for Multilateral European Institutions, and Mark Regev, Spokesperson for the Ministry, discussed the future of Israel-EU relations. Finally, Dr. Rachel Korasim, esteemed Israeli scholar, shared with the group the impact of the Holocaust on Israeli culture and society.
- Qassams: Home-made but Deadly by Carmelo Jordá
- Yad Vashem by Carmelo Jordá
- Shalom From Jerusalem (Yes, Yes, From Jerusalem) by Carmelo Jordá
- As a result of the seminar, participants felt inspired to report more frequently on Israel and the Middle East. They have launched their own blog, The Middle East European Journal, as a forum for discussion and debate and an opportunity to share their impressions, concerns and hopes for the Middle East. Thus far, alumni Nausicaa Marbe and Carmelo Jordá have posted several articles. http://meejournal.blogspot.com/