Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Israel in the eyes of a proud Muslim Bedouin - Meet Israel's top Diplomat Ishmael Khaldi

(Jacob Kornbluh-NY).Last night I had the honor to participate in an inspiring event sponsored by AmbassaDOR, AZM and Act For Israel in NYC with Israeli Deputy Consul, San Francisco and Author of his new book: A Shepherd’s Journey: "the Story of Israel’s First Bedouin Diplomat", Ishmael Khaldi.

Ishmael Khaldi or called by his nick "Ish" Shared his amazing life experiences as a proud Israeli citizen in a Bedouin village in Galilee, as described in his book, and i had the chance to read the full story on the Train on my way back to Brooklyn.

Listening to his remarks, watching him, I can say with confidence that Israel is blessed with such a unique diplomat, if the screens of CNN and Al Jazeera would be filled with such proud Israeli citizens and smart minded outspoken ambassadors, Israel's image would of had a more positive and sympathetic look from the World, or at least win the PR battle of minds.

Here is a taste of his remarks at the event:

"The landscape of the Middle East is changing rapidly. It brings myriad challenges along with a sense of hope. From ethnic clashes in Afghanistan and Iraq, recent religious clashes in Egypt, and the precarious uncertainty in Lebanon, numerous issues threaten the stability of the region. Yet it’s no secret that the Arab world will only witness a change from grassroots rather than regimes. I hope it will be a beginning of positive change."

"Israel is committed to achieving a comprehensive peace and reconciliation with its Arab neighbors. Just as we did with Jordan and Egypt, we want to establish peace with the Palestinians (a conflict that many consider as the heart of Israel’s conflict with Middle Eastern countries). The painful reality is that it may take another generation to reach a real reconciliation, meaning an end to demands from Palestinians and secure borders for Israel. It will take time to see Palestinians forming a united leadership, not divided between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority."

"Israel, as much as any other nation, wants to see the Palestinians living in dignity in their own independent state, led by a democratic regime, side by side with Israel. Israel, perhaps more than any other nation, wants peace with its Arab neighbors, where cooperation – in all fields – is fueling progress, rather than suspicion, greed, hatred and incitement."

"Israel is ready right and left to solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict towards a 2 State solution..but Israel has nobody with whom to sign a peace settlement with, There's no united one voiced PA Leadership as a partner for Peace."

"The key lies in achieving a breakthrough with Syria. One of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s first statements concerned his willingness to travel to Damascus if Syria were to demonstrate a readiness for peace. Unfortunately, Syria has yet to distance itself from Iran, to desist from intervening in Lebanon, and to discontinue harboring terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Islamic jihad."

"Israel isn’t a perfect country, but its strength is a blessing to the entire region. Like other countries it has a welter of internal challenges to deal with including the economy, unemployment, internal politics, tensions between Arabs and Jews, religious and secular communities, right and left and etc. After all, this diversity is part of the beauty of a pluralistic democracy."

"What Israel has achieved by Human values can be an example for the entire World..Israeli rapid response to any World human crisis is Israel's human value, and besides its achievements & challenges,Israel accomplished building a multi cultural society...There are equal opportunities to anyone in Israel, its a cultural transition, a growing number of Arab girls in Israel serve 2 years of civil National service, and only last week The first Muslim Judge in the World,was appointed to serve as a judge in Israel."

"I do admit that as a Muslim Bedouin I have all the reasons being proud of my country Israel..this democratic, multicultural, multidimensional and multi ethnic country."