During the course of our tour we had the opportunity to meet many individuals from different backgrounds on both sides of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict. Amongst them were Israeli settlers and Palestinians who work together towards peace, representatives of Israel’s foreign ministry, leading journalists, a patriotic Israeli Druze feminist crusader, Palestinians and Israelis whose views may be considered outside of the mainstream, including at a Palestinian refugee camp, and of course many whose ideas would be considered mainstream as well. For me it was apparent that each was touched by the situation and that the one-dimensional truths often presented in our media are in fact very far from the one truth, as they are sometimes seen…
I have been on two political tours with IP seminars– one to Israel and one to South Africa. In Israel there was a great range of speakers, including ordinary people, the General Secretary of the Israeli Labor Party, a former Palestinian terrorist and a Jewish settler explaining their joint vision of peace, and more. I learnt more in a week about Israel and the Palestinian territories than I had in years reading books. This was helped by us having the most informed and interesting guide I’ve ever met – he was absolutely perfect for leading a political tour.
In South Africa, in both Johannesburg and Cape Town we saw the realities and complexities of the rainbow nation. Walking through Alexandria township gave me a real and practical insight into the evils of apartheid and challenges of poverty, but also how friendly South Africans are as they look forward to a bright future.
The South Africa trip had the right balance of history, politics and leisure. If you want to learn about South Africa and have a great time, look no further than this trip.
Thank you so much for this opportunity. Our Israel-Palestine political tour shed light on so much of the complexity that is the reality facing Israelis and Palestinians.
Even though I am a political person, I never considered going on a political tour until I saw the itinerary that IP Seminars offered. I did the Israel-Palestine political tour and it was incredible
A truly eye opening political tour of Israel
A truly fascinating political tour that gave me a real insight into the reality on the ground
Don’t tell the Greens, but I’ve gone to Israel. After possibly the best midnight flight to Jerusalem since Mohammed’s horse identified as volucrine, I’ve spent the last week in the Holy Land on a political tour the likes of which would keep Bob Carr (if he’s still alive and not the subject of a real-time version of ‘Weekend at Bernie’s 3’) awake with fright for days on end.
The tour, organised by International Political Seminars and generously supported by the Jewish Board of Deputies in NSW, is one of those evil junkets used by the Jewish community and Israeli propagandists to buy the support of political hacks and journalists in Australia. Or so you’ve been told.
Joshua Koonin | 14 September 2016 | 2:56 PM
Over the last few years I have arranged several tours to Israel for young Australian leaders. I wrote about the lessons of my first political tour in the Times of Israel in 2012. Since, I have founded International Political Seminars, a vehicle through which to run these programs, and have been privileged to meet many of Israel’s political, security and cultural experts. I have also discovered a new tourism trend, and just how far Israel lags behind.
Many Israelis are familiar with “activist” tourism — young, sometimes idealistic, often anti-Semitic self-proclaimed “human rights” activists arriving to harass the IDF by day, and drink beer in the comforts of western Tel Aviv or Jerusalem by night. Unfortunately Israelis often conflate these troublemakers, for whom they rightly have little time, with another far more nuanced traveller — the political tourist.
International Political Seminars was founded in 2013 as the brainchild of a young former political advisor who found himself travelling in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Surprised by how different the reality on the ground was from what he had expected, and noticing the interest of other travelers in the concept of political tours as a means to understand the complex realities of the political situation on the ground, he resolved to arrange a political tour focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for young politically minded individuals.
Since 2013 our organization has grown, running political tours in Israel/Palestine and elsewhere. Our political tours have been addressed and attended by key politicians, security officials, analysts, journalists, and the people affected most by the issues discussed.
Our political tour participipants have included members of parliament and the media, US state legislators, and young leaders arond the world.
International Political Seminars works with local experts, educators and tour guides to ensure that each of its political tours is balanced, thorough and secure.