Jewish 100, 2014: George Deek – Tomorrow
Israel’s vice ambassador to Norway
One of the most thoughtful and eloquent members of Israel’s diplomatic corps, 30-year-old George Deek, the current number two at the Israeli Embassy in Oslo, has made it a personal mission to change the Palestinian narrative around the events of 1948. As Deek, the scion of a long-established Arab family in Jaffa, argued in a 2014 interview with The Algemeiner, that the Palestinians experienced a “naqba” (Arabic for “catastrophe”) in 1948 is not in dispute. However, he refuses to assign exclusive responsibility to Israel for their plight. In his interview, he wondered out loud what “things might have been like if the Palestinians would have said to the Jews, ‘Welcome back. This is your home, but it’s also our home, so let’s find a way that we can live here together.'”
For Deek, the great moral test for the Middle East is whether it can genuinely accept a Jewish state in its midst – and the only one, he said, that permits Arabs to live with full rights in a liberal democracy.