An Arab Israeli diplomat says security guards have cheated him

JERUSALEM (AP) - An Arab Israeli diplomat who was once deployed abroad to push back on Israeli critics said security guards beat him up at a Jerusalem central bus station last week, which he believes is a racial profiling case.

49-year-old Ishmael Khaldi said he had filed a police complaint and that, with his experience, he was going to publicly refer to what he described as racist behavior in some parts of Israeli society.

"This is wrong. It must be stopped. This is nothing to Israel," he said.

The event focuses on the ongoing conflicts of Israel’s Arab citizens, which make up 20% of the large minority population. Israel's Arab citizens have voting rights, and some have achieved great success in the world of Israel's judiciary, civil service and business, medicine, and entertainment. But they are still often discriminated against.

Khalili is widely seen as a trailblazer and government success story. From living in a tent and working as a shepherd when he was a boy, he became the first member of Israel's small Bedouin Arab community to serve as a diplomat and rose to the seniority of the Foreign Ministry in a small number of Arab Israelis. He served in the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco, was an adviser to the then Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and defended Israel against the Palestinian-led boycott while standing in London.

The boycott, secession, and sanctions campaign suggested that Israeli Palestinians should boycott Israeli institutions in protest of their Arab citizenship behavior. He has also done temporary work in Africa and Miami.

But his advocacy and distinguished career for Israel also put him at odds with many Israeli leaders, which is not enough to protect him from the conflicts that Arab Israelis have done.

There is no doubt that his dark skin often caught the attention of security guards who were panicking in the open air, and when he entered the bus station last Thursday, he was stopped by two guards and passed through a metal detector. From work to home.

It happens to me. "It happens to everyone," he said, with Arab characteristics. But what happened afterward was "a series of blunders" in contrast to what the security guards had seen before.

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