Be in the Know

Israel has never had to fight for its share of media air time, but it is constantly having to fight for its fair share. Those of us who take pride in our Jewish roots are often without the words to counteract the slew of misinformation in the popular discussion.

A visit to Israel can provide the education and first hand experience to know what to say, and what not to say, in response to Israel’s critics.

Browse below for some of the highlights a geopolitical trip might include.

Get Smart

The northern border has often been deceptively quiet. The upper Galilee is lush and populated with beautiful moshavim and kibbutzim that are actually our front line border settlements. We’ll hike the gorgeous mountains of the Galil and take a dip in one of its refreshing streams.

While we explore, Hizbullah is hard at work militarizing southern Lebanon. But no worries. Israel is quietly hard at work preparing the necessary strategies to keep us safe.

Our 360 degree view from kibbutz Misgav Am affords us a wide look straight into local Lebanese villages. Seeing this first hand will deepen our understanding of what we are up against on this border.

Now we are on the elevated slopes of Mount Avital in the Israeli Golan Heights, where we are overlooking the “border” between Israel and Syria. Just over the Syrian line we can see old Qunaitra, a city in ruins from previous wars between Israel and Syria, now controlled by the rebel forces battling the Assad regime in Damascus.

UN patrols are active here. Hopefully we’ll have an opportunity to speak with some of the UN soldiers about the time Israeli soldiers fired live rounds into Syrian territory to stop attempted hostage taking of UN soldiers by the Syrian rebels. Interesting stuff…

Hover for Fun Fact: Do Israel and Syria actually have a border?

One state, two state, green state, blue state… Will the Israel – Palestinian conflict ever have a solution?

A visit over the Green Line will bring many things into focus.

The yishuv Pedu’el, in the Sumarian foothills, where on a clear day we have an unobstructed view of the entire coastal plain from Haifa to Ashdod. This is where over 70% of Israel’s population and almost all of our vital infrastructure is. We can see it all laid out before us. This is helpful in understanding Israel’s dilemma regarding control of the central mountain region.

This is where it all happens. Israel is a Parliamentary democracy with several parties vying for power in various coalitions. If we walk by, we can hear them arguing about the latest political topics inside. But we’ll venture inside for a tour and to deepen our understanding of how the home of Israeli democracy works.

It is surprising how accessible current and former leaders make themselves to the general public. Meeting with someone in the government, or former government, can give us insights into specific policies, events and Israeli cultural phenomenon in ways that no other experience can.

Hearing directly from a source is a basic tenant in accurate story telling and journalism. Israeli soldiers are happy to share their experiences (those that have been declassified) in order to educate the general public about the true nature of the IDF.

Their PR wing has mounted efforts to portray the human side of our Israeli soldiers. Speaking with current or past members of the IDF directly will give us a chance to understand what it is like to serve, and what some of their personal experiences have been.

Where is that exactly?