I've been invited to go on a week long trip to Israel. The trip is being organized to give "progressive" bloggers an opportunity to see Israel, and grapple with some of the issues that plague the region. The entire trip is paid for by a private donor, with the assistance of the CIC. I've accepted the invitation, and we leave tomorrow. There will be five bloggers on the trip, including Jeff Jedras. I'm also told some NDP representation, looking forward to meeting the other participants.
As for the philosophical considerations, I'm approaching this trip with an open mind, although conscience of some underlying motivations. I'll give people a brief rundown of the itinerary. We will be travelling to Jerusalem, including East Jerusalem, meeting with people from across the spectrum, including Palestinians. Some fairly heavyweight journalists, Israeli bloggers, tours of the Western Wall,etc.
We will also visit the Knesset, meet with a representative from Foreign Affairs, as well as Einat Wilf from the Labor Party(served as foreign policy advisor to Shimon Peres). We will also meet with the Canadian Ambassador, among other things.
In addition, will travel to the north, visit the Golan Heights, and receive a military briefing from Mt. Bental. We will also visit an observation point, overlooking Southern Lebanon.
The last day looks to be less intense, with a visit to Massada(really excited about that) and the Dead Sea.
There is more, but you get the gist, a very busy schedule, which should be enriching and informative, not to mention fascinating. I go with eyes wide open, no reminders required. People who have followed this blog know my views on certain issues, and I am well aware that the total picture will not be presented in an entirely balanced way. That said, I do look forward to understanding the view from Israel and I suspect it will impact my views somewhat.
On the blogging front, if you saw the itinerary, you'd see that posting might be light to virtually non-existent. I'll try to post, and maybe throw in some shaky, alternative feel video, if able.
Wish me luck, and I'll certainly debrief upon return at the very least :)