Mission Accomplished!June 7, 2012 12:53 by Simon Plosker
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Seeing the Issues Up Close and Personal
The Mission group found itself right in the middle of the story making headlines in Israel as the government struggled over the issue of the Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El in the West Bank where a number of homes have been served demolition orders by Israel’s Supreme Court as well as the windswept hilltop of Migron, also under threat of demolition. The group was able to meet with residents and see for themselves the sites that has been making the news.
Mission participant Judy G. said the Migron visit was one of the highlights of the entire trip.”Until we went there it was hard for me to visualize how people were content to live there without knowing what their future would be,” she said.
Driving through the Jordan Valley and up to the Golan Heights and the Lebanese border, military analyst and IDF Major (res) Elliot Chodoff gave a full overview of the strategic threats and security issues facing Israel from the north, including Hezbollah.
“Standing on the Golan, I had the distinct feeling I was standing in Israel. The speakers have been so passionate. The whole trip has been an emotional experience,” said Loretta R. later about her experience.
Dealing With the Issues
HonestReporting is proud to work with many other individuals and organizations involved with a wide variety of Israel-related issues. Mission participants were exposed to top speakers including Itamar Marcus of Palestinian Media Watch, IDF Colonel (res.) Ben-Tzion “Bentzi” Gruber on the subject of IDF ethics in the battlefield, retired Ambassador Yoram Ettinger on Palestinian demographic issues, and journalist Khaled Abu Toameh revealing what really goes on inside the Palestinian Authority.
Practical Advocacy Training
With all the information that Mission participants are exposed to during their intensive week, the question remains as how best to utilize all of this for Israel advocacy. Thanks to the skills of professional advocacy trainers David Olesker of JCCAT and Neil Lazarus of Awesome Seminars, who served up an intensive session on how to advocate effectively, as well as HonestReporting’s very own CEO Joe Hyams, our participants left Israel with a feeling of empowerment and the tools to defend Israel against media bias and an enthusiasm to take action.
“I thought I knew a lot before I came on this Mission,” said Naomi M. “I follow the news. But I didn’t realize until I heard many of the speakers and the staff of HonestReporting the degree to which media so strongly influences public opinion and the perception of political figures about the State of Israel.”
“Most importantly, what I’ve come away with is the realization that there are ways to counter this, to respond to this and to turn this around and for that I’m very grateful,” she said.
Keep an eye out at www.honestreporting.com/mission for further updates and participant feedback. Don’t forget to book early for the next Mission! We hope you’ll be joining us too!