Op-Ed: Why I am voting for Mendi Safadi in the Likud primaries


Rachel Avraham, jerusalemonline.com
uncaptioned image from article
Throughout the course of my journalistic career, I have had the privilege to get to know Mendi Safadi, a very intelligent and well-connected man, who has demonstrated that he passionately cares about assisting the underdogs who are being oppressed by totalitarian dictatorships. Whether one is speaking about Kurds, Hindus in Bangladesh or the Druze community in Syria, Mendi Safadi is at the forefront in the international community working in order to help them. And by helping the underdogs in the Islamic world, he has in turn given a positive face to Israel’s public diplomacy [JB emphasis].
Around the world, many view the State of Israel to be an oppressor, who persecutes the poor Palestinians. There are only two tools in Israel’s diplomatic arsenal in order to fight against this negative representation. One of the methods Israel can utilize is to be on the defensive and to explain why this is not true. Sadly, any effort by Israel to be on the defensive has not been effective in enhancing Israel’s public image. All it does is make Israel look weak and thus reinforces what the other side is saying. The other method, which is far more effective, is to go on the offensive, by attacking human rights violations in the Islamic world and standing up for the victims of such human rights abuses. And there is no one who has mastered this methodology of enhancing Israel’s public image more than Mendi Safadi, who truly understands that the best defense is always a good offense.
When I first met Mendi Safadi, he was serving as Ayoob Kara’s chief of staff when he was Deputy Minister for Regional Cooperation. When he worked for Kara, his entire job revolved around building up Israel’s relationship with the Syrian Opposition, the Kurds, the Druze, Azerbaijan, the Hindus of Bangladesh, the Yezidis, Christians and others who are either members of minority groups, victims of radical Islam or proponents of moderate Islam. By building up alliances with them, he was able to create not only strong allies for Israel in the region but also to do work in the international community exposing the inhumanities of radical Islam and how Israel is a victim of it, just like the Yezidis, the Christians, the Druze, the Kurds, etc. When Mendi went off to form the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights, he devoted his time to lobbying in the international community on behalf of oppressed peoples and the victims of radical Islam.
The State of Israel was able to greatly benefit from Mendi Safadi’s connections with the victims of radical Islam. Via these connections, Mendi Safadi was able to receive documentation of what remains of the Syrian Jewish community and also video documentation exposing the execution of legendary spy Eli Cohen. He is also building the basis of Israel’s future relationship with the Muslim world, once all of the cruel dictatorships fall. Thus, his diplomacy has served as a beacon of light for the prospects of peace between the various peoples in the Middle East.
In light of his accomplishments in the diplomatic arena, prominent Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid proclaimed: “As I traveled around the world, I heard a lot about Mendi Safadi before I met him personally. The public diplomacy demonstrated by Mendi Safadi I have not seen elsewhere in Israel’s hasbara. I believe that Mendi Safadi is worthy man more than any other man to be a Likud candidate for the Knesset. The Likud list will be successful nationally and internationally if you choose Mendi Safadi.”
Shipan Kumer Basu, the President of the World Hindu Struggle Committee, added: “On behalf of all of the Hindus of Bangladesh, we wish great success for Mendi Safadi in the upcoming election in Israel. I urge everyone to vote for Mendi Safadi, who is a great friend of the Hindu minority in Bangladesh. He has been working to ensure the fundamental rights of all of the oppressed minorities of Bangladesh for some time, who seek to strengthen ties with both the Druze and the Jewish people in Israel. Mendi is also working for the sake of minorities in other places, such as Kurdistan. I believe that if Mendi is elected and Netanyahu becomes Prime Minister again, then all of the minorities in the world will be in a good position. I again wish Mendi Safadi, Netanyahu and the Likud Party much success.”
I believe that if there is ever going to be peace in the Middle East, it will only come about when an alliance among those who are opposed to radical Islam is formed and under the mediation of a native of the region who is not Jewish. As a Druze Israeli citizen who was born and raised in the Golan Heights, he is the ideal person to bring legitimacy to not only Israel’s control over the Golan Heights but Israel’s legitimate presence in the Middle East. Therefore, I urge you to consider voting for him in the Likud primaries.
Original Article