CAMERAonCampus students just finished CAMERA’s annual Student Leadership Training Mission to Israel. This is an annual 10 day trip that takes CAMERA students to Israel to experience all that Israel has to offer, meet with incredibly knowledgeable and talented speakers, and visit places in Israel to discuss the challenges facing Israelis from different places.
On the first day of the trip, students went to the CAMERA office in Jerusalem, Jerusalem U, and the Knesset to meet with experts in various fields including media accuracy, human rights, campus activism, and media accuracy. Each speaker used his or her own expertise to help students become better campus activists.
The speakers on the first day of the trip included Tamar Sternthal, the director of CAMERA’s Israel office, Bassem Eid, a human rights activist, Zeev Ben-Shachar, a senior educator at Jerusalem U, and Dr. Anat Berko, a world renowned terrorist expert and new member of Knesset.
Tamar Sternthal’s presentation focused on the history of CAMERA and its many achievements, including the corrections that appear in numerous newspapers on a regular basis. Sternthal discussed CAMERA’s balance in its corrections. For example, it was recently reported that Israel provided the most aid to Nepal, which is not true. Israel was among the largest contributors of manpower, but was not the largest donor of aid overall. This is something that CAMERA submitted corrections for in both CNN and Times of Israel.
Above: Tamar from the CAMERA office speaking to the students.
Bassem Eid is a Palestinian human rights activist who stands up against the human rights abuses committed by the Palestinian Authority (PA), and currently lives in Jericho, in the West Bank. Eid discussed his life of activism, including his arrest by Yasser Arafat and meeting with Mahmoud Abbas.
Zeev Ben-Shachar is a senior educator at Jerusalem U, an organization that uses film to educate people about Israel. Ben-Shachar’s presentation was all about how to be an effective advocate for Israel. He discussed how the students’ responses to the attacks made against them need to be accurate and appropriate for the situation, meaning that responses should carry a certain weight that is equal to or greater than that of the attack or accusation.
Above: Zeev Ben-Shachar giving a presentation at Jerusalem U.
The final speaker of the day was Dr. Anat Berko, a world-renowned terror specialist, lecturer, and current member of the Knesset. Dr. Berko’s lectures, which are frequently given at campuses across the world and in the UN, often revolve around her experience in the counter-terrorism field and the current situation regarding terror and Israel. In addition to research, Dr. Berko uses her interviews with various attempted terrorists in order to back up her research. Dr. Berko assured the students that she and the other members of the Israeli government appreciate their work.
After hearing from Dr. Berko, the students were allowed to view the Knesset in session. During the session, Dr. Berko, as well as several other members of Knesset, including Haneen Zoabi, who was reprimanded on the Knesset floor while the students were watching, spoke about the various issues on the floor. This was an amazing experience for the students, many of whom had not seen a Knesset session before.