I am neither a historian, decent author or a journalist and the chances are, unless there is a link or reference to somewhere else, the perpetrator is your's truly-Renaud Sarda.
I created this blog as a focal point, to arm friends and people with arguments and facts that they could perhaps use to counter the anti- Israel propaganda, biased media and Israel boycott campaign.
I am a Zionist and a proud Sephardi Jew who will fly the Israeli flag, and defend whatever Israel does.
Search This Blog
Wednesday, 9 February 2011
Don’t Miss Israeli Diplomat Ishmael Khaldi in America
AmbassaDOR is partnering with Act For Israel to invite you to Cafe Israel, where Israeli diplomat Ishmael Khaldi will be on hand to share his amazing life experiences as chronicled along in his new book entitled: A Shepherd’s Journey: the Story of Israel’s First Bedouin Diplomat.
Date: February 22, 2011
Place: AZM, 633 3rd Avenue, 21st Floor, New York, NY 10017
Time: 7 pm ET
Act For Israel is fond of Khaldi and his contributions, and we encourage you to attend if you can. Here is a taste of what you can expect from his upcoming speaking engagement:
Ezra Shemesh, an Iraqi-born Jew that immigrated to Israel in the 1950s, often told me “Ishmael, if an Arab ate falafel and a fly fell into it, he’d accuse Israel of “conspiracy” and even the “Mossad.”
Ezra passed away in 2007. I worked with him in his vegetable store on Sundays in nearby Kiryat Ata to save “gelt” (Yiddish for money, as I learned this from my late grandmother who spoke Yiddish) for transportation to high school.
I grew up the third of 11 children, in a Bedouin village in Galilee. I completed a master’s degree at Tel-Aviv University, served in the Israeli Border Police, Israel Defense Forces and Defense Ministry, then became the first Bedouin in Israel’s diplomatic corps.
In my recent travels abroad (US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, and Australia), I was struck by the apathy towards Israel. It seems that Israel, a world leader in hi-tech, clean-tech, bio-tech, medical and agricultural innovations, is deeply misunderstood. This is a country where a farmer’s contribution to GDP equals that of a high-tech engineer. It’s a country that has the highest rate of scientists per square mile in the world, yet it’s becoming falsely vilified as the menace that maligns the Middle East.
Despite its regional isolation, Israel’s obligation is to share its cutting edge innovations with the entire Middle East, including some countries it doesn’t even enjoy established relations with. Our doctors and medical staff established the first fully operational field hospital to treat Haitians after the debilitating 2010 earthquake, days before any other country. Israeli agricultural experts are creating greenhouses in Africa and dairy farms in central Asia. Israeli disaster relief personnel are often first responders, whether in Turkey, India, Peru or elsewhere around the globe.
Israelis believe, in stark contrast with the rhetoric of Islamic fundamentalists such as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, that everyone has a future in the Middle East. After all, we’re ALL equal in the likeness of our creator.
But let’s be realistic: 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.
Recent events in Tunisia, triggered by economic crisis, demonstrate the ability of Arab society to transform. For the first time, Tunisian media feels free to broadcast prayers from the mosques on television in real-time. 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.
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.
Clearly Ezra exaggerated during our early conversations. But how can we fault anyone for believing in some degree of Ezra’s tale when Arabs recently accused a shark in Sharm El-Sheik and an injured bird in Saudi Arabia as being Mossad agents? Until Arabs change their attitudes about Israel, and fully recognize its right to exist as the homeland of the Jewish people, the Middle East will continue wallowing in the same morass of mutual suspicions.
Today, at the age of 39, I am not a politician. I do admit to being a proud Israeli citizen, son of this democratic, multicultural, multidimensional and multi ethnic country.
I am an advocate of the kind of diplomacy that maintains Israel’s international reputation. My moral responsibility, together with my fellow Israelis, is to work shoulder to shoulder, to build a better future for Israel and the region. This is…SIMPLE!