In a recorded speech following his installation as the Jewish state’s top envoy to Muslim-majority Azerbaijan, George Deek paid tribute to the man he named only as Avraham who became his music teacher. It was because he played the harmonica so beautifully that his life was spared; a Nazi officer took him home to entertain his guests. When he finally found refuge in Israel, Avraham chose to use the means of his rescue – his music – to bring hope to others, including Arab children like George, who duly learnt both flute and clarinet.
George’s moving story contradicts much of the narrative spewed out by the mainstream media about the Arab-Israeli conflict, especially the refugee crisis.
His family, who have lived in Jaffa for 400 years, fled the city in 1948 in response to the warning from Arab leaders that Jews would turn on them when the new-born nation was attacked by the surrounding states, but that they would be free to return when Israel was defeated. His grandfather, also George, had married in haste before fleeing to Lebanon, but...
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