Tag Archives: Diplomat

A Muslim in Israel’s Foreign Service

Ishmael Khaldi is unique for a diplomat. He is charming and friendly but so are many in his field. He is boyishly handsome (others can claim the same), he is young to be a consul (but there are many in his age bracket – the Venezuelan Consul General in San Francisco is 24!)

What makes Ish, as many call him, unique is that he is Israeli, Muslim and a Bedouin. His story is truly remarkable. Yes, we have an Israeli diplomat representing the Jewish state (and very proud of it), who is Muslim (and very proud of it), who grew up as a Bedouin shepherd (and very proud of it), who served in the Israeli Defense Forces and who later graduated with a masters’ degree in political science. And he is constantly in the trenches explaining Israel’s position, defending the country and challenging its opponents.

Ish became far better known to the wider community after his editorial was published in the San Francisco Chronicle of March 4, 2009. It must surely have been a jolt to the outspoken critics of Israel to discover the extraordinary diversity and background of the #2 diplomat in the San Francisco consulate.

The editorial was written during the time of “Israel Apartheid Week” and Ish’s pointed address to the organizers of the week is particularly telling. I have provided a link to the article. Needless to say it is extremely well worth reading.