Foreign Ministry appoints Israel’s first-ever Bedouin ambassador

The Foreign Ministry appointed Ishmael Khaldi as Israel’s first Beduin ambassador on Sunday, to represent the country in Eritrea.

Israel’s first Bedouin ambassador, Ishmael Khaldi (photo credit: Courtesy)
Israel’s first Bedouin ambassador, Ishmael Khaldi
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Foreign Ministry appointed Ishmael Khaldi as Israel’s first Bedouin ambassador on Sunday, to represent the country in Eritrea.
Khaldi hails from Khawaled in northern Israel, where he was a shepherd while growing up. He began working for the Foreign Ministry in 2004, serving as Israel’s vice-consul to San Francisco, a diplomat at Israel’s embassy in the UK, where he fought delegitimization, and as an adviser to then-foreign minister Avigdor Liberman.
Last month, Khaldi filed a complaint with the police against security guards at Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station, who he said knocked him down and kneeled on his neck until he yelled that he cannot breathe.
In 2015, Khaldi was summoned from London to Israel over Facebook posts saying some Israelis hate Arabs “more than antisemites hate Jews” and complaining that Israel cared more about convicted spy Jonathan Pollard’s release than Bedouin villages. In 2017, he faced disciplinary measures after he threatened to take Israel to the International Court of Justice and accused the Zevulun Regional Council and Israel Lands Authority of “Bedouin heritage cleansing” because the council planned to sell plots in the village to people from outside the village.
The Foreign Ministry appointed several other ambassadors on Sunday, to UN institutions in Geneva, the OECD in Paris, South Korea, Finland, Serbia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Uzbekistan and Nepal, as well as a consul-general in Boston.
All of the appointments must be approved by the cabinet.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.