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George Deek, One of Israel’s Best Diplomats – Adi Schwartz (Tablet via Daily Alert)

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July 31, 2015

  • George Deek, One of Israel’s Best Diplomats – Adi Schwartz
    George Deek, 30, a descendant of a Palestinian Christian family who fled during the Arab-Israeli War of 1948, is an Israeli diplomat who serves as Israel’s charge d’affaires in Oslo. His grandfather George worked as an electrician in Jaffa. In 1947, when the UN approved the Partition Plan, Arab leaders warned that the Jews would kill them if they stayed home. “They told everyone to leave their houses, and run away,” said Deek. “They said they will need just a few days, in which together with five armies they promised to destroy the newly born Israel.”
    His family fled to Lebanon, but when the war was over, they realized that they had been lied to – the Arabs did not win as they promised, and the Jews did not kill all the Arabs. “My grandfather knew that in a place stuck in the past with no ability to look forward, there is no future for his family. Because he worked with Jews and was a friend to them, he was not brainwashed with hatred.” He got hold of one of his old friends at the electric company, and asked for his help to get back into Israel. That friend not only helped him come back, but even made sure that he got his job back. “The reason we have succeeded and that I am an Israeli diplomat, and not a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon, is that my grandfather had the courage to make a decision that was unthinkable to others.”
    “I believe we can be proud of our identity and at the same time live as a contributing minority in a country that has a different nationality, a different religion, and a different culture than ours. There is no better example in my view than the Jews in Europe, who kept their religion and identity for centuries but still managed to influence deeply, perhaps even to create, modern European thinking.”
    It is clear to him that the problem with Israel, in the eyes of the Arab world, is not its policies but its identity. If Israel were a Muslim state, he says, nobody would care about its policies; after all, most Muslim states treat their citizens much worse, and no Arab cries foul at other abuses, wars or cases of occupation in the Middle East. (Tablet)

(Click on the article’s title to see the whole article…Ed.)

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