An HonestReporting Project

HonestReporting's Mission exceeded my high expectations. It was first-class in every way. There's no other way I'd have gained direct access to such a notable experts or problematic areas. The Mission enhanced my awareness of the complex issues Israel faces, and I hope to be a much more effective advocate for truth in the media.

– Carol Stein, Dresher, PA


Draft itinerary for information purposes only. Subject to change.

Dec. 2 - Dec. 8, 2014

Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014

Introductions and Orientation

Shaping Israel's Image: How to be an Effective Advocate – David Olesker, Jerusalem Center for Communication and Advocacy Training

Ethics in the Field: An Inside Look at the IDF – IDF Colonel (res.) Ben-Tzion “Bentzi” Gruber

Visit HonestReporting’s International Headquarters in the heart of Jerusalem for buffet lunch and afternoon sessions

  • Understanding Media Bias – Simon Plosker, Managing Editor HonestReporting

  • Monitoring Palestinian Media – Itamar Marcus of Palestinian Media Watch (, a watchdog group that monitors Palestinian media for incitement to violence and anti-Israel propaganda

Dinner at Noya – one of Jerusalem’s best meat restaurants, a fusion of Europe and the Middle East

Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014

Field trip with Patrick Amar, tour guide and professional Israel advocate

  • Visit the Sderot Media Center, for a discussion with Noam Bedein, Director, on living under fire, and visit the police station which contains the most recent Kassam rockets fired into Israel

  • Lunch followed by a visit to the Gaza border crossing for an overview of the region plus closed-door briefing by IDF spokesperson responsible for humanitarian aid into Gaza

  • Visit Kibbutz Yad Mordechai War Memorial and reconstructed battlefield, to learn about Egyptian border attacks during the 1948 War of Independence

  • Dinner at B'Chatzer Shel Ora – an original Yemenite meal in a beautiful orchard. The visit includes a tour of its 120 trees, of 80 different kinds, some quite rare and exotic; and authentic Yemenite cuisine from Ora's kitchen. Her Polish-born husband Reuven and she have a remarkable story to tell

Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014

Apartheid in Israel? – a visit to one of Jerusalem’s hospitals to witness Jews and Arabs working side-by-side, and giving equal treatment to all patients

Visit MediaCentral, Israel's premier bureau for overseas correspondents, and meet Director Aryeh Green

The Struggle for Jerusalem – Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Head of Arab Studies at Bar-Ilan University, an expert on Israeli Arabs

Light lunch in downtown Jerusalem

East versus West – a local tour giving an overview of some of the complexities that make up the fabric of Jerusalem

Dinner at one of Jerusalem’s best restaurants

Friday, Dec. 5, 2014

Bus leaves for visit to Gush Etzion bloc with Yarden Frankl, Director of Special Projects, HonestReporting

  • Background to the issue of settlements

  • Topographic view and history of the region from Neve Daniel lookout

  • Common Ground: Meet an Israeli Settler and a Palestinian who joined together to work the land

  • Leave Neve Daniel for the Elazar outpost for meeting with local activisits

Lunch at Gavna – a hilltop restaurant with a panoramic view

Return to Jerusalem; free time to prepare for Shabbat

Bus leaves for the Western Wall, for a traditional Shabbat dinner with IDF soldiers, guests, and loads of atmosphere. Walk back to the Inbal Hotel

Shabbat: Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014

Optional Shabbat morning services in congregations throughout Jerusalem (options available from hotel concierge)

Shabbat lunch: Buffet-style lunch at the Inbal hotel

What Arabs in the Region are Really Thinking

  • Khaled Abu Toameh – Israeli Arab, West Bank and Gaza correspondent for The Jerusalem Post, and The U.S. News and World Report
  • Suleiman Khatib – Director, Combatants for Peace

Havdalah – bringing Shabbat to a close in the traditional way

Free evening (shops open approx. 9:00 pm)

Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014

Travel North for full-day with Elliot Chodoff, Military Analyst, IDF Major (res.)

  • Discuss West Bank security issues

  • Naharayim on the Jordanian Border, site of the murder of 7 girls by a Jordanian Border Patrol Soldier, in 1997

  • Ascend Mt. Ben Tal

  • Lunch and wine tasting at the award-winning Golan Winery

  • Topographical overlook from the Kinneret

Monday, Dec. 8, 2014

Unity in Israel: No Longer Just a Dream – Aliza Lavie, MK, Yesh Atid

NGOs, Human Rights, and the Campaign to Demonize Israel – Yitzchak Santis, Programs Director, NGO Monitor, Jerusalem

Taking the Battle Against Terrorism into the Courts – Nitsana Leitner, Esq., Director of the Israel Legal Center, which provides legal representation and resources for courtroom struggles on behalf of the Jewish State

Light lunch and check out for those leaving today

How to Effectively Advocate for Israel: Practical Training – Neil Lazarus, Director of

Closing dinner and summary in the beautiful Little Jerusalem Anna Ticho House, one of the first homes in Jerusalem built outside the Old City walls

Transfer to Ben-Gurion Airport for those flying tonight

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