The JUF trips are only the tip of the iceberg - there are many pro-Israel organizations doing the same thing and one of the biggest is the American Israel Education Fund (AIEF), a "charitable" 501(c)3 group almost entirely funded by the lobbying group, AIPAC, as a way to get around the rules set by Congress in 2007 specifically to prevent lobbying groups from sponsoring junkets.
An excellent account of the issue can be found in Nathan Guttman's article in the Jewish Daily Forward, Laughs Aside, Junkets Raise Serious Issues. He reveals that reporters are taken on these propaganda trips as well...
AIEF takes more than just members of Congress on trips to Israel; it takes journalists, too, on a regular basis. Discussing the latest Sea of Galilee events, Chris Matthews host of MSNBC’s“Hardball,” said on August 20: “I’ve been there a number of times, a trip sponsored by a pro-Israel group, Jewish group, very educational trips. They show you a lot about the geography of the land and the situation they’re facing with the Palestinians.”Is it any wonder Americans have a one-sided view of what is happening in Israel and the territories it occupies?
MSNBC did not return several calls requesting comment on Matthews’ participation in these trips and the network’s policy on joining press junkets.
A spokesman for AIEF would not provide details on the number of reporters hosted by the group in Israel, but there are estimates based on reports of participants indicating that dozens of journalists have participated in pro-Israel junkets throughout the years.