The Arab countries forcibly evicted their Jewish populations, so as to seize their property and purify their countries from the "stain" of Judiasm. Israel is also asking one of its Arab citizens to leave, but for a very different reason:
In a few weeks Ismail Khaldi, a 35-year old Bedouin shepherd from the village of Khawalid in the Zevulun Valley, will leave his family and move to the United States to serve as Israeli consul in San Francisco, as the first Bedouin diplomat.
There is nothing trivial in the life of Khaldi. The settlers see him as a fifth column, Israeli Arabs curse him as a Zionist, and people around the world who oppose Israel’s policies call him the Josef Goebbels of the Jewish state. Khaldi himself has no problem explaining how a member of a minority group represents the State of Israel.
“The Western democratic world has a lot to learn from Israel about democracy,” says Khaldi. “Yes, we make mistakes, but who doesn’t make mistakes? As a shepherd I learned to give in. A shepherd is ultimately responsible for bringing the goats in from the pasture, and he must give his all and give in. That’s the way it is in diplomacy, too: If we’ve failed once and haven’t managed to explain that Israel is a normal country, we have to try again and again and again until this changes. And it will change.”
He doesn’t understand why he needs to explain the origin of his love for Israel and Israelis.
“I grew up among Israeli Jews, mostly members of Kibbutz Kfar Hamaccabi. And they never made me feel different. I always felt equal. This is the Jewish state, but I am part of the country, and my identity is Israeli, not Palestinian.”
The rest of this article details Khaldi's life. These details explain why people like me, while recognizing that Israel has occasionally committed both political and military errors, is still one of the best countries on planet earth.