Holy Land Press Junket Instructions

So those of you who follow me on Ricochet will know that this week, Ricochet is going on a Holy Land Press Junket.

That’s right, your Turkey correspondent’s been invited on a press junket to Israel, where she’ll be hooking up with Ricochet’s Permanent Holy Land Correspondent Judith Levy and our Pro-tem Holy Land Correspondent Mollie Hemmingway. Together we’ll be live-blogging, filming, and podcasting the entire week. Our hosts are Act for Israel, and we’ll also be joined by others while we are there.

flickr-484111583-hd.jpgHere are some of the things we’ll be doing:

We’ll be meeting Gilad Shalit’s parents on Sunday, then touring Givaat Zeev and Maale Edumim, which are settlements in disputed Jerusalem neighborhoods. After that we’ll meet the IDF Central Command spokesman.
Then, because this is a press junket, we’ll be getting drunk.
On Monday, we’ll be going to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We’ll speak to Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and the prime minister’s Deputy of Communication, Mark Regev, where I plan to ask the all-important question, “Hey, why don’t any of you communications whizzes speak Turkish? Haven’t you noticed that this is the language Turkish people speak?” I am coming back with an answer to that question, folks, and if they think Hamas is persistent, they haven’t seen Claire Berlinski when she gets in a lather about Israeli communication policy.
Then we’ll have an overview briefing of the Iranian threat. After lunch, we’ll be visiting JVP, a communication and animation startup (I may skip that so better to communicate what I learned in the morning with you, my Ricochet readers). Then we’ll visit Teva, Israel’s largest pharmaceutical company.
And then, because this is a press junket, we’ll be getting drunk.
On Tuesday, we’ll be heading to Tel Aviv and the Weisman Institute for an overview of their latest medical innovations. Then we’ll be checking out Shai Agassi’s electric car factory, which I’m told is the highlight of the trip. If we can pull it off, we’ll podcast the whole thing, with video. After lunch, we have a briefing at the International Center for Counter Terrorism.
Then, because this is a press junket, we’ll be getting drunk.
On Wednesday, we’ll be heading north toward Hezbollahland for a briefing with IDF Spokesman Yair Dotz and an overview of Israel’s Northern border. Then they’ve got us scheduled to see a soap factory, which they swear is interesting but which I may skip, because how could that be interesting? But who knows, I do have a thing for nice soap. The lure of soap samples could well rope me in.
Then we’re off to see something listed in the schedule as a Druze village. I suspect the point of this is to show journalists that Israel’s not just about Jews, so I may skip it, because I’m convinced of that already.
Did I tell you that I used to hang out in this neighborhood a lot when I was a teenager? I worked on a Kibbutz near the Sea of Galilee one summer, long ago, so this will be a little walk down memory-lane for me. Splendor in the grass and all that. I may go on my own little sentimental journey.
Then, because I’ll be all melancholy–and because this is a press junket–we’ll be getting drunk.
Finally, on Thursday, we’ll be touring the Sea of Galilee (I used to water-ski there, which is a very ancient historic tradition, you may recall.) I may skip that too because I’ve done that, and let’s face it, at my age you need to recover from all that drinking. I’ll probably just catch up on sleep.
After lunch we’ll go to Kibbutz Beit Oren, which was devastated during the December fires, to learn more about the recovery efforts.
And then, because this is a press junket, we’ll be getting drunk.

Questions for any of the people we’ll be talking to? Things you’d like us to see and do? Come on over and join Ricochet! Powerline members get a Powerline discount. (It’s hard to discount the price by much, since joining is oh-so-close to being free, but for you we’ll find a way.) Once you’re a member, here’s the deal: You ask, we’ll investigate. It will be as if you’re right there with us, especially when we go to the hotel spa together and comp it to Ricochet.
Leave your questions and comments for us at Ricochet, and remember, this trip is your trip: It’s a press junket, so the whole point is for us to find the answers to any questions you might have about Israel. Don’t be shy–we’re off to the land that tact forgot. You ask, we’ll report–loudly, without caring who we offend.
Your membership also entitles you to access to the special members area, the podcasts, the headline feed, the customized feeds. and special Ricochet Swag. You’ll also be introduced to the glories of our Code of Conduct,: At Ricochet, the year 1954, and you are always at a church social with June Cleaver and the Queen Mother. We find that life is better that way.
So come join Ricochet and join us on our Holy Land Lalapalooza! See you at the bar!
JOHN adds: Wish I were going; have a few for me. Based on my own experiences in Israel this is a good preview of your trip:

In part, at least, this is what rebels in Libya and Egypt should aspire to. Whether they do or not is another question.


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