The annual Keshet Insight Seminar is an intensive Israel experience led personally by Yitzhak Sokoloff, Israeli political analyst and the President of Keshet: The Center for Educational Travel in Israel, together with Dr. Eric Mandel, the founder of Middle East Political and Information Network (MEPIN). The seminar is limited to 20 participants who focus on a single theme related to Israeli society or strategic challenges. Over the course of one week, participants travel throughout Israel to meet and exchange views with some of the country’s most thoughtful policy makers, political leaders and social activists. Past seminars have examined subjects such as “The IDF and Israel Society”, “The Settlement Controversy”, “The Two-State Debate”, “The Geo-Political Status of Jerusalem”, “The State of Judaism in the Jewish State”, and “The Fateful Triangle: Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians”, which included trips to Ramallah, to Syrian refugee camps along the Jordanian border, and into the Jordanian Parliament.
Insight Seminar 2016: When Theodor Herzl envisioned a Jewish State in his book, Altneuland, he imagined a country that would be both a Jewish homeland and a liberal society guaranteeing equal rights to Jews and non-Jews alike. In the Declaration of Independence, David Ben Gurion used similar language, despite the fact that he had no illusions about the realities of the historical conflict between Jews and Arabs in what had been Palestine.
Today, the annual Keshet Insight Seminar will reflect on the progress made by Israel in achieving this goal in light of the harsh realities of the Middle East. We will devote a very intensive week to examining the challenges posed to Israel’s political system, morality, security and self-identification in light of the fact that over 20% of its population defines itself as being either Israeli Arab or Palestinian Israeli.
The Insight Seminar is meant for people with a deep concern for Israel, boundless energy and curiosity and a serious desire to understand things for themselves rather than depending on the mass media.
- Explore Christian Arab Israeli identity through encounters with Christian Arab IDF soldiers and a Anglican Bishop who is a Palestinian nationalist leader
- Learn about coexistence efforts between Jews and Arabs in contemporary Israeli society
- Meet with former International Advisor to the Prime Minister to learn of the development of the refugee challenge and the Naqba narrative
- Tour Bedouin communities in the Negev to meet with community leaders and learn about land disputes with the Israeli government
- Tackle the critical question of a Jewish, democratic Israel in a seminar with political, judicial and intellectual figures
- Explore the microcosms of Jaffa and Lod to gain insight into controversial battles and the current reality of life in mixed Jewish-Arab cities
- Meet the principal of an Arab High School, an Arab woman who also teaches Hebrew literature to Jewish students
- Visit an Islamic Religious Seminary that trains Muslim clergy
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