“...enhanced my awareness of the complex issues.”
   – Carol Stein, Dresher, PANext: Application

HonestReporting & NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Advocates Mission to Israel
Itinerary: November 26th - December 4th, 2012


Monday, November 26th, 2012:

  • Arrive in Israel. Transfer to Inbal/David Citadel hotel in Jerusalem. Evening at leisure.

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012:

  • “Welcome to Israel” – Mark Regev, Spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office, formerly of Melbourne, Australia
  • “Fighting Media Bias” – Joe Hyams, CEO, HonestReporting
  • Lunch in downtown Jerusalem
  • “Holocaust Denial and its Implications for Advocacy” – A seminar and tour of Yad Vashem with Ephraim Kaye, Director of International Seminars
  • Dinner at Darna, an authentic Moroccan restaurant in the heart of Jerusalem. With Guest Speaker Amotz Asa El, former Executive Editor of the Jerusalem Post, fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, staff columnist at the Wall Street Journal/MarketWatch, and private consultant for media ventures

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012:

  • “Monitoring Palestinian Media” – Itamar Marcus, Palestinian Media Watch, a watchdog group that monitors Palestinian media for incitement to violence and anti-Israel propaganda
  • “Ethics in the Field: An Inside Look at the IDF” – IDF Colonel (res.) Ben-Tzion “Bentzi” Gruber
  • Lunch in Jerusalem
  • Tour the Security Fence with the IDF including closed-door briefing
  • Dinner at Noya, an elegant meat restaurant that combines French cuisine and Mediterranean tastes, located in a historic building with magnificent décor

Thursday, November 29th, 2012:

  • Travel to Gaza Border – Overview of the region plus briefings by IDF spokesperson responsible for humanitarian aid into Gaza
  • Visit the city of Sderot – View the collection of Kassams at the police station; visit a house which was destroyed by a direct hit from a rocket; explore the center of commercial activity in Sderot
  • Lunch at B’Chatzeh Shel Ora, an authentic home-style Yemenite restaurant in the owner’s private orchards
  • Return to Jerusalem
  • Evening at leisure

Friday, November 30th, 2012:

  • “Communities or Settlements?” – Hagit Ofran, Settlement Watch Director, Peace Now
  • Travel to Gush Etzion – An inside look at communities over the green line
  • Lunch at Gavneh, a hilltop restaurant with a panoramic view
  • Return to Jerusalem; free time to prepare for Shabbat
  • Bus to Western Wall for Kabbalat Shabbat and a traditional Shabbat dinner with IDF soldiers and loads of atmosphere
  • Walk back to hotel

Shabbat, Saturday, December 1st, 2012:

  • Optional Shabbat morning services in the beautiful 100-year old synagogue of Yemin Moshe overlooking the walls of Jerusalem, or in other congregations throughout Jerusalem (other options available from hotel Concierge)
  • Shabbat lunch: home hospitality with English-speaking families who live in Jerusalem
  • “What Arabs Inside Israel 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
  • “Christian Support of the Holy Land” – Rev. Aaron Eime, Deacon and Manager of Heritage Center at Christ Church, Jerusalem, formerly of Australia
  • Havdalah – bringing the Shabbat to a close in the traditional way
  • Optional free evening in Tel Aviv (transportation provided)

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012:

  • A full day with Elliot Chodoff, Military Analyst, IDF Major (res.)
    • Depart Jerusalem for north via Jordan Valley along the Jordanian Border
    • Picnic lunch in the Golan Heights
    • Ascend Mt. Ben Tal
    • Naharayim on the Jordanian border, site of the murder of seven girls by a Jordanian soldier in 1997
    • Topographical Overlook from the Kinneret

Monday, December 3rd, 2012:

  • Travel to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • “The Assault on Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People” – D.J. Schneeweiss, Australian-born diplomat for the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • “Israel: A Light to the Nations” – Danny Ayalon, Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel
  • Traditional falafel lunch in Tel Aviv
  • Closed-door IDF Briefing at Tel Aviv IDF Headquarters
  • Yitzchak Rabin Museum – A superb collection of videos, documents, and memorabilia commemorating a great statesman
  • Dinner in Tel Aviv; return to Jerusalem

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012:

  • “NGOs, Human Rights, and the Campaign to Demonize Israel” – Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg, President, NGO Monitor and Political Science Department, Bar Ilan University
  • “Reporting from Israel” – Ehud Yaari, Middle East commentator for Israel TV Channel 2, assoc. of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, columnist for The Jerusalem Report
  • Time for check-out
  • Final dinner and closing remarks in the gardens of the beautiful Anna Ticho House
  • Transfer to Ben-Gurion airport for flight to Australia

Facts on the Ground

Testimonial from HR Missions

Great programming, exceptional and motivating speakers, delightful participants. A different and useful way of understanding Israel!”

– Bobbie Morgenstern, Wynewood, PA

Get Inside Israel

Testimonial from HR Missions

Varied, interesting and balanced. Speakers from across the political spectrum were invited to speak, and all, despite their variety of stance and views, were courteously received. All were proponents or specialists of their respective fields at the highest levels. The variety and mix of politics, media, military history, history, culture and tours were excellent.

Thank you for a wonderful well-planned experience, and an enlightening and balanced overview of the media's undoubted bias against Israel.”

– Warwick S., Security Specialist, Melb., Australia