Meeting with Lia Shemtov
Discovering Israel with the EAJC
On April 24, a new program of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress titled “Discovering Israel” for journalists of non-Jewish media from EAJC countries began its work in Israel. The program is a part of the EAJC priority direction of activity to strengthen solidarity with Israel.
This first program included participants of both state media and national media from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine. The EAJC PR Department was aided in organizing this program by the leaders and activists of local Jewish community structures.
As EAJC Secretary General Michael Chlenov noted in his address to the participants of the program, “By aiding the journalists on non-Jewish media to ‘discover’ Israel, our Congress aims for a simple and clear goal: to break down the current media stereotype of Israel as a country eternally at war, concerned only with its opposition to its neighbors. The aim of the program is to oppose the lies and prejudice that are common companions of the Israel topic in the media with honesty and objectivity.”
On the first day of the program, the journalists accompanied by the EAJC PR Department Head Roman Spector and EAJC Deputy Secretary General, Congress Representative in Israel Haim ben Yakov visited the Knesset. Yisrael Beitenu Knesset Deputy, Vice Speaker in the nearest cadence Lia Shemtov received the group of journalists for an hour and a half talk on everything concerning the political and community life of the Jewish state. Afterwards, a short tour of the Knesset building took place.
Next, the journalists took a trip to the Kissufim military base bordering the Gaza sector. The Head of the IDF Informational Service Department for Russian-language Media Anna Ukolova spoke to the journalists about the everyday life in the IDF. The journalists met soldiers and officers, tasted the food soldiers eat daily, and were shown new types of weapons. Representatives of the IDF gave an extensive report about the military confrontation with Palestinian terrorists.
The day ended with a meeting with leading representatives of Israel Russian-language media. Famous journalists Michael Gilboa (REKA radio), Lev Melamed (web portal “Zman.cvom”), Mark Gorin (Globus newspaper), and Lyudmila Karaseva (Epoch newsletter) answered questions their colleagues had about the history and current state of Russian-language media in Israel. Saveloy Kleiner, a representative of the Israeli Association of Jewish Veterans and Disabled Soldiers, who spoke about the life of repatriate veterans and how the Israeli media served to further their interests. After the meeting, the journalists travelled to Jaffa, where they stood to hear the siren marking the beginning of Yom Hazikaron, the Israeli Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism Remembrance Day.
As the EAJC Secretary General stressed in his address, “We want the journalists from the countries united by our Congress to see for themselves how Israel lives, with what Israel is concerned, and then share their views with their readers. We thought up this program to form an objective opinion of Israel throughout society.”