Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Sunday 30 October 2011

One Cool Dude: Israel's Ishmael Khaldi

There's no doubt about it. Israeli diplomat Ishmael Khaldi is one cool guy.  A Bedouin and a Muslim, Mr Khaldi was a former shepherd boy who joined the Israeli Foreign Ministry and became the number two person at the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco.

Although Mr Khaldi is, I believe, by no means totally uncritical of Israeli domestic policy, he is an articulate defender of the State he serves.  In the line of duty he finds himself as, figuratively speaking, a punching bag for the loathsome fanatics who  would like to free Palestine "from the River to the Sea". 

Last year, he remained calm and collected while subjected to a barrage of abuse from Scottish Israel-haters who, in true totalitarian leftist fashion, prevented him from speaking as scheduled at Edinburgh University.  You can see the footage of this odious display of intolerance here and here and here

On 25 October Mr Khaldi gave a lecture at Kent State University in Ohio.  It focused on his own story, as told in his autobiography A Shepherd's Journey, and he explained how people labour under misconceptions regarding Israel, citing it's current aid to earthquake-ridden Turkey as an example of Israel's humanitarianism.

Afterwards, he invited questions from the floor, and history professor Julio Pino, a convert to Islam,  was quick off the mark:

'Standing at the back of the auditorium, Pino asked Khaldi how he and his government could justify providing aid to countries like Turkey with blood money that came from the deaths of Palestinian children and babies.
This is not Pino’s first brush with controversy. In 2002 he wrote an opinion column for the Daily Kent Stater praising a suicide bomber. In 2007 he made national headlines when the The Drudge Report featured a story accusing him of contributing to a blog called Global War, which refers to itself as a "jihadist news service".
The crowd fell into an awkward silence as the two continued to exchange words from across the auditorium.
"It is not respectful to me here," Khaldi said.
Pino responded by saying "your government killed people" and claimed Khaldi was not being respectful to him.
"I do respect you, but you are wrong," Khaldi said. "It’s a lie."
 The exchange ended as Pino stormed out of the auditorium shouting "Death to Israel!"
One person in the crowd retaliated by shouting [at Pino] "Shame on you!"'
Read more about this incident and Mr Khaldi's response here

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