Is­rael posts Arab en­voy to Welling­ton

The Jewish Chronicle - - World News - BY DAN GOLD­BERG

AN Arab Druze pro­fes­sor has been ap­pointed Is­rael’s chief diplo­mat in New Zealand.

He­brew Lit­er­a­ture Pro­fes­sor Naim Araidi was ap­pointed by For­eign Min­is­ter Avig­dor Lieber­man, Ye­diot Aharonot re­ported on Sun­day.

“Af­ter years of rep­re­sent­ing Is­rael unof­fi­cially, it would be a great priv­i­lege for me to do so in an of­fi­cial ca­pac­ity and show Is­rael’s beau­ti­ful side, as well as the co-ex­is­tence that, de­spite all the hard­ships, can only be main­tained in a true democ­racy,” the news­pa­per re­ported Mr Araidi as say­ing.

Born in Kfar Mar­rar in the Galilee, the 62-year-old teaches at Haifa Univer­sity and Bar-ilan Univer­sity and won the Prime Min­is­ter’s Award for He­brew Lit­er­a­ture in 2008. He re­ceived his PHD in He­brew lit­er­a­ture from Bar-ilan. His po­ems have been pub­lished in more than a dozen lan­guages.

Mr Lieber­man said Mr Araidi’s ap­point­ment “rep­re­sents the beau­ti­ful face of Is­rael, in which a tal­ented per­son, ir­re­spec­tive of re­li­gion or sec­tor — can reach the high­est places on merit, and be an in­spi­ra­tion for all Is­raelis.

“I am con­vinced that he will hon­our the state of Is­rael as an am­bas­sador as he did as a writer.”

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