The European Jewish Congress organised a press trip to Israel with journalists from across Europe in response to the brutal attacks on October 7 and the ongoing war between the State of Israel and the terrorist organisation Hamas.
The objective of the mission was to offer journalists and press officers an in-depth and multidimensional perspective on the current situation in the country, enabling them to visit the places where the Hamas massacre took place, meet relatives of the victims and hostages taken to the Gaza Strip, and engage in discussions with high-level politicians and analysts.
Participants of the mission visited Kibbutz Kfar Aza, where more than 50 residents were killed by Hamas, and an additional 20 are missing. They also visited Tkuma, the village near the place where the Supernova Festival took place, where more than 300 attendees were brutally murdered. There, they engaged in discussions with members of the IDF. Subsequently, they travelled to the city of Ness Ziona to see the outdoor exhibit “The Abducted Hearts” which consists of 242 cast iron statues, to represent the hostages taken by Hamas, each with a heart-shaped hole in its center.
The mission participated in the Forum of Hostages, where they met families of those taken by Hamas to the Gaza Strip and received a briefing from former diplomats. Afterward, they visited the Tel Aviv Museum, where they had a meeting with its Director, Tania Cohen-Uzielli, and Chief Curator Mira Lapidot, to discuss the art world’s non-reaction to the Hamas massacre.
On their last day, the mission traveled to the Druze village of Daliyat al-Karmel in Mount Carmel, where they met Druze Israeli MK Akram Hasson and political consultant Samer Berany. They discussed the culture and traditions of the Druze and their participation in the IDF since Israel’s independence. Afterwards, they visited the Sammy Offer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital and were guided by the Director General of Rambam Health Care Campus, Prof. Miki Halberthal.
During the mission, they held meetings with former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the Ambassador of Italy to Israel, Sergio Barbanti, the Ambassador of Austria to Israel, Nikolaus Lutterotti, former Israeli Ambassador Aviv Shir-On, and journalists Dan Perry and Ari Shavit. They also had briefings with ELNET and I24 News, where they had the possibility to visit its studio, following a conversation with its CEO Frank Melloul.
The trip counted with the presence of Christian Ultsch, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Austrian newspaper “Die Presse,” Stefano Citati, Chief Editor of the Italian newspaper “Il Fatto,” Johanna Adorján from the German newspaper “Sueddeutsche Zeitung,” Julia Hubernagl, the editor of the cultural department of the German media TAZ (Die Tageszeitung), Kasper Goossens, freelance reporter for the Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, journalist specialised in European and international issues Vincent Georis from the Belgian newspaper L’Echo, freelance journalist for the Telegraph, Financial Times Group, and Domani Giovanni Legorano, and Erika Jakubovits, Executive Director of the Presidency at the Jewish Community of Vienna (IKG).