Israel has numerous spokespeople for it, but George Deek, an Israeli-Arab Christian who works in the Foreign Office managed to achieve something unique; in 2014, he gave a speech about his story that was considered so good, that it informally became known as “the best speech ever” given by an Israeli diplomat. A few months ago, Emet for Israel, a CAMERA-supported group at the University of Miami, hosted Mr. Deek to talk about his story.
George Deek is an Israeli-Arab who currently serves as an Israeli diplomat in Norway. Whilst he is a not Jewish and Arab, he believes that this should not preclude him from identifying as Israeli. He says that rather than seeing themselves as having nothing to do with Israeli, Israeli Arabs should be proud of their own distinctive heritage and culture, while also contributing to wider society – in fact, he thinks that the Jews of Europe were a great example of striking this balance. He has numerous funny anecdotes to share, but they often have powerful messages. He often defends the actions of Israel, and then when he is accused of supporting Israel just because he is Jewish, he shocks his interlocutor by informing him that he is a Palestinian-Arab!
The event exposed students to a narrative that demonstrates Israel’s diversity and tolerance. Emet for Israel was very active in promoting the event, tabling for the event twice in advance of the event, helping to spread awareness of Emet among the student population.
Contributed by Aron White, CAMERA intern