Sunday, 26 February 2012
An education...visiting Israel (and West Bank)
I've just arrived in Jerusalem on BICOM's (the Britain-Israel Communication & Research Centre) first 'new media' delegation. I hope to blog about my experiences while I'm out here, but in all likelihood, our packed, informative programme (which takes in a visit to the West Bank) will mean I'll end up tweeting at the end of the day @JohnSlinger. Having studied Middle Eastern politics at BA and MA level, I can honestly say I feel ignorant of the reality and subtleties of the issues pertaining to domestic Israeli politics, to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the wider regional geopolitical and strategic issues. What's apparent, even in a few hours, is that opinions formed from the relative calm of London, or of academic seminars (vital and informative as mine were) can sometimes over-simplify matters. I am open-minded and fascinated to learn more about this regain and am very grateful and feel privileged to be offered this opportunity by BICOM. If I have anything original to say at the end of our visit, I'll say it. If you're reading, I'd welcome any feedback, exchange and debate, as ever. i'm particularly interested to learn about the role of social media in this region. And anything particularly insightful I'll share here on this blog.