October 2018 Mission Itinerary

October 29 - November 5, 2018 (Draft Itinerary - subject to change)

Monday, October 29th 2018

Welcome to Israel

Check-in to the Inbal Hotel and explore the luxury facilities, including pool, gym and health spa.  Hospitality desk open 3pm – 6pm

Opening dinner at the Inbal Hotel.

  • “Welcome to Israel”Joe Hyams, CEO, HonestReporting
  • “Zionism Worked: The Surge of the Jewish State from the Ashes of WWII to a Geo-Strategic Pillar” –  Gil Troy, Professor of History & author of The Zionist Ideas and Moynihan’s Moment: America’s Fight Against Zionism as Racism



Tuesday, October 30th 2018

Pre-State Israel

“The Balfour Declaration from the Perspective of International Law”- Professor Eugene Kontorovich, head of the International Law Department at the Kohelet Policy Forum, a Jerusalem-based think tank.

Seminar to explore the geopolitical and strategic environment of Israel prior to 1948, with Dr. Ronen Hoffman, International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Herzliya.

Light lunch in Jerusalem

Half-day field trip to explore the political, religious and strategic environment of Israel’s capital city, with   Col. (Ret.) Miri Eisin, former spokesperson for the Prime Minister.

Dinner at Noya, a merge of East and West, in downtown Jerusalem.


Wednesday, October 31st 2018

The War of Independence

Today’s program will be led by IDF Major (Res.) Elliot Chodoff, a leading military analyst. Included in the itinerary will be:

  • Travel to the famous Palmach Museum where we will join the group of young Palmach recruits from its establishment, and advance through the story of the Palmach until the end of the War of Independence;
  • Lunch in Rehovot;
  • A tour of the Ayalon Institute, a secret ammunition factory disguised as part of a kibbutz to fool the British back in the 1940s. Between 1945 and 1948, the Ayalon Institute produced more than 2 million 9mm bullets;
  • An overview of the military situation prior to 1948 and up to the War of Independence at the tomb of the Prophet Samuel, which overlooks the city of Jerusalem and the surrounding area, visible from miles around.

Free evening in Jerusalem.



Thursday, November 1st,  2018

A State is Born & the World Reacts

Visit HonestReporting and MediaCentral headquarters in downtown Jerusalem.

“Reporting from Israel”- A member of the overseas media, working in Israel

“Media Showdown: How They Harm; How We Fix!” – We’re the only organization that changes the conversation about Israel at every stage of the news cycle: before during and after, with HR senior staff.

“70 Years of media bias” – Dr. Einat Wilf, former MK, a leading intellectual and original thinker on matters of foreign policy, economics, education, and Israel and the Jewish people.

Enjoy a light Israeli lunch in the heart of Jerusalem.

Board the light rail to the Old City of Jerusalem for a short walking tour.

Tour of the Western Wall Tunnels with Lee Glassman, tour guide, historian & Jerusalem expert. Experience sunset at the Western Wall – a living testimony to the strength and resilience of the Jewish nation, for private time and reflection, with dinner at “Between the Arches” – an ancient Crusader cistern, converted into an upscale restaurant underneath the Old City of Jerusalem.



Friday, November 2nd 2018

“The Struggle for Land”

The Struggle for Land: Area C and the Settlements – a half-day field trip to the Gush Etzion bloc with Col. (Res.) Grisha Yakubovich, former Head of the Civilian Department in the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT). During the day we will:

  • Explore the history of Gush Etzion leading up to 1948;
  • Address controversial questions regarding construction, demolitions and resource access;
  • Discuss the military/strategic importance of Gush Etzion today
  • Light lunch in Gush Etzion winery with time for wine shopping.

“Any Questions?”: a chance to catch up with HonestReporting Editors in a round table discussion.

Join HonestReporting staff and their families for a traditional Shabbat dinner at the Inbal Hotel.

Saturday (Shabbat)*, November 3rd 2018>/h3>

Arab/Israel Relations

Free morning to enjoy Shabbat in Jerusalem. Optional Shabbat morning services (options available from hotel concierge).

“Is it dangerous to tell the truth about the PA?”Khaled Abu Toameh, award-winning Israeli Arab journalist reporting on the Palestinian territories.

“How I survived a terror attack without losing my respect for the humanity of the other side; how to defeat terror without giving up on your soul”Kay Wilson, British-born motivational speaker, Israeli tour guide, jazz musician and cartoonist. She is the survivor of a brutal terror attack that occurred while she was guiding in December 2010.

Time to counter the manipulation and tell the truth” – Ali*, an Arab Muslim, resident of a refugee camp in the disputed territories.

Havdalah – bringing the Shabbat to a close in the traditional way.

Buffet-style supper at the Inbal Hotel.

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

* The HonestReporting program takes place with Shabbat observance in mind.

Sunday, November 4th,  2018

“Israel:  A Mosaic of Culture & Religions”

A closer look at some of the many communities that make up the rich fabric of Israeli society. During the day we will:

  • Visit Shaarei Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem, responding to the needs of Jerusalem’s diverse population since 1902; treating patients of every race, religion and nationality. Meet and speak with staff from many nationalities and backgrounds.
  • Gain an insight into Jerusalem’s Ethiopian community at the Ethiopian Nationional Project offices in Jerusalem..Learn about their struggle to integrate into Israeli society, and the efforts to help them. Have meetings with:
    • Roni Akale, Director-General
    • Tsega Malaku, Author, journalist and community activist.
  • Travel to Abu Ghosh, an Arab-Israeli town outside of Jerusalem, described as a “model of coexistence.” Have a meeting with Issa Jaber, Mayor of the town.
  • Meet  Ihab Zeidan, an expert in minority communities of Israel and Activist in the Druze community. Learn about this small, loyal sector, many of whom are proud members of the Israeli security forces in the aftermath of the Israel Nation-State Law.

Dinner at “Darna” an authentic Moroccan restaurant in the heart of Jerusalem, with Ishmael Khaldi, Israel’s first Bedouin Diplomat.

Monday, November 5th 2018

Remembering the Past; Looking to the Future

VIP tour of the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, highlighting the history of Israel’s judicial system and how it functions in modern Israel.

Return to Inbal Hotel. Check-out for those leaving today (rooms to be vacated by 12.30pm).

Light lunch at Inbal Hotel.

“Israel as a Jewish State: Where are we Heading”- Amotz Asa-El, Journalist & Middle East Commentator

“Learning from the Past”Ben-Dror Yemini, prominent Israeli commentator and Yediot Ahronoth columnist.

“Looking Back, Looking Forward – Where do we grow from here?” Joe Hyams, CEO, HonestReporting  

Closing event in Olive and Fish, a unique restaurant close to the Inbal Hotel.

Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for those flying tonight.

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