In conversation with Israel’s first Bedouin Ambassador, Ishmael Khaldi

Ambassador Ishmael Khaldi

By Galya Tregenza Hall

Ambassador Ishmael Khaldi is a true diplomat and a remarkable man who has a fascinating life story. For us at the SAZF, it was a massive highlight and a real honour to have the opportunity to host him for an interview via Zoom on 30 July.

The SAZF Cape Council Media Committee has worked hard to secure interesting and diverse speakers, all of whom highlight the pluralistic and dynamic nature of Israeli society. Ambassador Khaldi was most certainly one such speaker.

SAZF Cape Council Vice Chair and Media Chair, Rodney Mazinter, conducted the interview which proved to be most informative and eye opening. Ambassador Khaldi, who has served in the Israeli Foreign Ministry since 2004 was, in July of this year, appointed as Israel’s first Bedouin Ambassador to take up post in Eritrea. The SAZF webinar was the first such event Ambassador Khaldi has done since his most prestigious and well deserved appointment.

The webinar, that as viewed from all over the world, garnered much attention, including members of the local South African media and over 1000 views on our social media sites. That was no surprise, considering the stature and calibre of the guest speaker. Not only did Ambassador Khaldi offer valuable political insights but he also shed light on the Bedouin culture in Israel. His honest and, at times, humorous anecdotes provided a personal touch and allowed the audience to better understand and appreciate this honourable man.

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