CAMERA and our CCAP-Supported Organization, CIPAC, hosted Ishmael Khaldi last night at Cornell University. Khaldi, the first Bedouin to represent Israel as Consul General in America, spoke to a diverse audience of over 50 students about his experience growing up as a minority in Israel.

According to the Cornell Daily Sun, “Khaldi said he hoped his speech would help eliminate common misconceptions about Israel that exist due to negative media portrayal, as well as help Cornellians learn about a different aspect of Israel’s culture.”

Ishmael Khaldi, the first Bedouin diplomat in Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, speaks at Anabel Taylor Hall Tuesday.

CAMERA Fellow Benjamin Horowitz stated the goal of the event eloquently. “The media often presents a one-sided view of Israel and said that the country’s diversity is under represented. Even though it’s a Jewish state, it welcomes all people. It’s not something you hear about in the news because the media likes to portray conflict and not what goes on internally.”

The Cornell Daily Sun, in the piece “Israeli Bedouin Reflects on Diplomacy“, reported that “Students attending the presentation said that they thought that Khaldi’s speech helped them understand what it is like to be a Muslim minority in a Jewish state.”

Ihsan Kabir ’14, president of the Committee for the Advancement of Muslim Culture, said that Khaldi’s speech provided the unique outlook of someone who comes from both an Israeli and Muslim background.

“I’m all for bringing in people with unique perspectives — we’ve all been exposed to the traditional narratives, but I value these unique ones just as much,” he said, “They help break a lot of stereotypes.”

Not only did this event attract and educate a diverse group of students, but it also made front page news on the Cornell Daily Sun. This successful event proves how important it is to speak publicly about Israel, and proactively educate students on campus about the reality of life in Israel.

Click here to read the Cornell Daily Sun article covering this event.

Contributed by Aviva Slomich

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