Australian journos gain exclusive access in Israel

October 8, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The most high-powered Journalists Mission to Israel ever hosted by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies in the history of the program has concluded – and the community is invited to hear the feedback at a public meeting next week.

2019 Journalists Mission participants with mission sponsors Phillip and Suzy Wolanski in Jerusalem.

Twenty four hours after the polls closed on the general election, the journalists had dinner with former prime minister Ehud Olmert, who provided insights into the key electoral issues. After the briefing, Daily Telegraph journalist Brad Clifton filed an article from Tel Aviv summarising Olmert’s insights on the possible defence treaty between Israel and the US.

“Israel is a country that needs to be experienced to be understood. That is why the Board of Deputies annual Journalists Mission to Israel is one of our most successful programs. The briefings, meetings, tours and visits to locations of strategic importance give Australian journalists a much broader understanding of Israel and the situation” said Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff who led the mission.

The annual study mission, which has been running for three decades, gave participants a comprehensive immersion into the country and the region, and included guided visits to the borders of Syria, Lebanon and Gaza; briefings from political, military and security experts; meetings with Israeli and Palestinian journalists; Shabbat at the Western Wall; Yad Vashem, the Temple Mount, the Christian holy sites and the Dead Sea.

It also included a visit to the Palestinian capital city of Ramallah and briefings by senior representatives of the Palestinian Authority; a Palestinian refugee camp, a settlement, a meeting with leaders of an Israeli-Palestinian peace-building program and a focus on innovative high-tech industries.

This year’s Journalists Mission participants represented: Nine (which publishes The Sydney Morning Herald), The Weekend Australian, The Daily Telegraph, SBS, Radio 2GB, Channel 7, Channel 9 and Sky News. Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff led the mission and sponsors Phillip and Suzy Wolanski participated for the first time.

“Our community follows media reporting extremely closely,” Board of Deputies president Lesli Berger said. “We have concerns about lack of balance and context in relation to coverage of Israel, so this is an opportunity to hear first-hand from some of the most senior editors and journalists in the country after they have participated in our high-level study mission. We encourage community members to attend and to engage with them.”

The report-back will take place at the Sydney Jewish Museum on Thursday October 17 at 7.30pm.

The Board of Deputies Journalists Mission is generously supported by Phillip and Suzy Wolanski through the JCA Haberman Kulawicz & Wolanski Fund.

 

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