J298 Israel and the Palestinian Territories

Travel Seminar to Israel and the Palestinian TerritoriesInstructor Tim McGirkFall SemesterMeeting once a week, for two hours This is a 15-week seminar offered in the fall that culminates in a weeklong reporting trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories, excluding Gaza. The class, of no more than 15 students, will divide into two reporting teams. Each team will tackle a major topic or event – to be decided before we head out there in December. The weeks leading up to departure will be spent selecting these two topics and doing ample pre-reporting. Each week in class we’ll have a guest speaker, notable Israeli and Palestinian opinion-makers, thinkers, and writers coming to us via Skype or in person. Some will be controversial. The idea of this class is to shake up your preconceptions so that you begin to see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through its many facets. The cost to each student will be $500. Otherwise all expenses of the trip, including airfare, lodging, travel, and food will be covered. One hitch: this trip is being hosted by the Jerusalem Press Fund, whose stated mission is to educate journalists about issues affecting Israel and its Arab neighbors. That said, the Fund’s has assured us that we would have full input on where we go in Israel and in the West Bank and to whom we talk. Also, we would maintain full editorial control of our stories. Another campus that participated in this program, and was equally wary of the possible spin put on this trip by our hosts, said that on the whole, the approach was balanced between the Israeli and Palestinian viewpoints. The Fund’s involvement is limited to logistics and to setting up the itinerary. Sometimes gaining access, to a place, or to people, comes with strings attached. Usually, the organization that is willing to take you has its own motivations for doing so. Military embeds are one example. This trip should be seen in the same light. We feel that it could be a useful exercise in learning how to keep your reporting clear-eyed when there’s a good chance you’re being spun.




Time:  F 3:00 - 5:00

Location:  B1 North Gate

Class Number:  67129

Section:  6

Units:  2

Length:  15 weeks

Course Material Fee:  None

Enroll Limit:  12

Restrictions & Prerequisites