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Ishmael Khaldi

Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday tapped Ishmael Khaldi to head the country’s Eritrea mission, in a move that if approved will make him the country’s first-ever Bedouin ambassador.

Khaldi, who hails from Khawaled, a Bedouin village in Israel’s north, has held several positions in the Foreign Ministry since becoming Israel’s first Bedouin diplomat over a decade ago, including adviser to the foreign minister, Israel’s point person against BDS in the United Kingdom, deputy consul general on the West Coast and acting consul general in Miami. He is considered one of Israel’s greatest defenders against the campaign of delegitimization and has been boycotted, heckled and threatened when he speaks out in support of the Jewish state.

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Khaldi’s appointment, along with the appointments of 10 other diplomats to new positions, now requires final government approval.

Former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman hailed the appointment on social media on Sunday, saying that Khaldi had served as a trusted adviser when he led the Foreign Ministry. “He is well-known as an Israeli patriot who defends the state resolutely around the world,” wrote Lieberman.

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