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Student Explores Israel With Project Interchange

January 22, 2010 12:00 PM
New Wave staff newwave@tulane.edu

Edward "Spencer" Dorsey, managing editor of the Tulane Hullabaloo, joined a group of editors and senior reporters from 18 college newspapers across the country for a visit to Israel during winter break. The educational seminar was organized by Washington, D.C.-based Project Interchange.


Edward "Spencer" Dorsey, managing editor of the Tulane Hullabaloo, prepares to ride a camel in a Bedouin encampment while in Israel at an educational seminar for editors and reporters. (Photo from Spencer Dorsey)

Dorsey says his week in Israel "has left me with a clearer understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and greater frustration over the disparity between what actually happens there and what news networks report. Although major Israeli news coverage shouldn't come across like a Discovery Channel documentary, the images of Israel as a continually war-torn nation simply do not tell the full story."

Dorsey is a senior majoring in finance from Covington, La.

The Project Interchange program was intended to equip the delegation with a balanced foundation for understanding Israel's strategic realities in areas such as domestic politics, foreign relations and media. There are more journalists per capita in Israel than any other country in the world.

The group met with Israeli government officials, including representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; foreign correspondents from major US publications, including the New York Times; and members of the Israeli press. They also participated in roundtable discussions with Israeli, Israeli-Arab and Palestinian students at several universities throughout the country.

"Israel is still a young nation undergoing change at a radical pace, and it will be fascinating to see whether two fundamentally different peoples will coexist or continue fighting," Dorsey says. "I am forever grateful for the opportunity to view Israeli society from an outsider's perspective and inform the Tulane community about the peaceful aspects of the home to the three major religions."

Since 1982, Project Interchange has organized seminars in Israel for influential figures from around the world. It is an educational institute of the American Jewish Committee.