Israel's first Bedouin diplomat makes impact in US

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Ismail Khaldi is Israel's first Bedouin Arab diplomat, and he is already making an impact from his position as deputy Israeli consul general in San Francisco, California.

Earlier this month, Khaldi managed to conduct the first ever meeting between an official Israeli representative and San Francisco's Muslim Arab community.

Khaldi was even invited to deliver the keynote speech at the graduation ceremony of a local Muslim high school, where the student body is anything but pro-Israel.

In these engagements, Khaldi says he makes a point of listening to the grievances of the Muslim community against Israel, but also tries to counter the bias by portraying the Jewish state as a good nation that is striving for peace.

Khaldi grew up living a true Bedouin lifestyle without running water or electricity in northern Israel. Today he is one of Israel's most senior Arab diplomats.

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