They couldn't have come at a more dangerous time. Six university newspaper editors from America visited Israel for the first time last December, and the already planned trip happened to coincide with the first week of the recent Gaza Conflict.
In a reality style documentary, the young Americans had their week-long visit taped by a camera crew hired by Project Interchange, a Washington-based organization that develops seminars for Americans and international guests in Israel. The film is being screened tomorrow at Georgetown University.
In Israel, the editors, including Georgetown's The Hoya newspaper editor Andrew Dubbins, met with a wide range of leaders and citizens in an attempt to get beyond the headlines to learn the complexities of the Middle East peace process.
(Vadim Lavrusik, Editor-in-Chief and Co-Publisher, The Minnesota Daily, University of Minnesota)
The documentary was written and directed by Patrick Ryan Morris from Project Interchange, and features Dubbins, along with other editors who were in Israel from December 30th to January 5th.
"I was an editor of a newspaper in college," says Morris. "From that experience, I know that you cannot bring journalists to Israel, or anywhere for that matter, and force an ideology on them or a version of the truth."
He hopes to screen the film at campuses throughout the United States.
Project Interchange brings new delegations of "influentials" to Israel twice a month from around the world. Muslim leaders from France came to a seminar in Israel in December, meeting Israeli President Shimon Peres and the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. In November, women executives from the U.S. construction business enjoyed a week-long seminar. Before that, European environment leaders were in Israel. Each group of guests enjoy tailor-made trips, adapted to their interests and expertise.
The world premiere of the The Editors, the film, will take place tomorrow evening - April 20th at 8:00 pm, at Georgetown University's ICC Auditorium. The screening will be followed by a wrap party at Cafe St. Ex.
For more details and a map of how to get there, see The Editors on Facebook.
For more about Project Interchange, see the ISRAEL21c feature story on the organization.
(This story first appeared on the ISRAELITY blog.)