On 4th August, we took 24 senior Israeli journalists from a variety of news outlets to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian ministers, officials and civil society leaders. After a city tour in Ramallah led by Dr Ziad Darwish (member of the Palestinian Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society), we headed to the PLO offices for an exchange with officials, including Social Affairs Minister Dr Ahmed Majdalani, who delivered a powerful message to the journalists and said:
“There is a change in the world: a new US administration which believes in the two-state solution and wants to make it happen. A new Israeli government, that despite its political diversity and intent to “manage” the situation, still has the opportunity to prove to the Israeli public and the world that they can take courageous decisions and change direction from the previous government. There is a regional and international atmosphere that supports this.”
The journalists then exchanged ideas and views with Palestinian officials, including former minister for Prisoners Affairs, Ashraf al-Ajrami; former minister for water, Shaddad Atilli and head of the PCIIS, Mohammed al-Madani where they learned about discourse in Palestinian society, developments on the ground and Palestinian belief in the need to strengthen communications between the two sides.
The reporters, columnists and editors came from across the media landscape including from Israel Hayom, Makor Rishon, Yedioth Ahronoth, Channel 12, Kikar Hashabbat, 103FM, Knesset TV and more. This also included representatives from Haredi news channels. Following the meeting, many journalists published social media items about their first experiences in Ramallah.