It began shortly after I first landed in Atlanta to take my position as consul general. Members of the local Jewish community took an interest in my background and started to visit Israel’s Druze towns. Many traveled to my northern Israeli home town of Isfiya, on Mount Carmel. People wanted to know: What was this new Druze consul general made of, and who exactly were these Druze people?
The modern history of the Middle East is filled with ideological intellectuals who aimed for great political ideas but instead produced some of the world’s cruelest dictatorships and militaristic regimes — the Baathists in Iraq, the Islamists in Iran and the pan-Arab socialists in Libya, among others. These intellectuals, detached from the reality and experience of their peoples, were an integral part of their countries’ revolutions, and it was they who tragically became the first victims of the oppression their revolutions unwittingly produced.