Life in Israel Today – Three Perspectives: Jewish Israeli, an Arab Israeli, and a Christian Israeli
Sunday, April 24th at 11:00 AM PST

Life in Israel Today—Three perspectives from a Jewish Israeli, an Arab Israeli, and a Christian Israeli
Please join us on Sunday, April 24th at 11:00 AM PST to learn first-hand from three young Israelis what life is like in Israel today.  Our speakers will be talking about what life is like for them living in Israel.  One Israeli is Jewish, one is an Arab Muslim,  and one is a Lebanese Christian. 

Introduction by Matan Zamir, Israel’s Deputy Consul General to the Pacific Northwest.  Matan grew up in Jerusalem where his family has lived for nine generations.  Zamir had a decorated career in the Israeli Defense Forces.  In 2003, Zamir was honored for his service and received the President’s Medal of Excellence for Israel’s 55th Independence Day. He received his law degree (L.L.B.) from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 2008.  Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Matan served as the Director of the Training Department of the Israeli Supreme Court, a position that is part of Israel’s Center for Citizenship and Democracy.

Mahdi Satri is a 22-year-old Israeli Arab Muslim.  His father is a Palestinian, born and raised in Khan Yunis in Gaza.  His uncle was the head of the Red Eagle terror groups which was part of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization.   His father became dismayed over the execution of innocent Palestinians by terror militants in Gaza.  Dreaming of a better life and freedom, he came to Israel.  Mahdi was born and educated in Israel, but he has step-brothers and a grandmother still living in Gaza.

Hasbara is the Hebrew term for advocacy for Israel and Israel’s public diplomacy and public relations. In this day and age of instant news and widespread dissemination of information, it is important to have real-time advocacy, especially in the case of Israel, which faces a constant slew of PR attacks against it.   The Hasby Awards recognize individuals who have made a significant contribution to this goal.   In 2018, Mahdi won the Hasby Award for the Biggest Personal Sacrifice for Israel.   Mahdi will start studying law in Rishon Le-Tzion this year, but he continues his work to tell the truth about Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East that is safe for all its citizens, both Arabs and Jews.

Maryam Younnes is a 26-year-old Christian Lebanese – Israeli (known as the Tzadal community). In 2000, at the age of 5, her family fled Lebanon to Israel, settling in a small city located in the north.  Since settling in Israel, Maryam and her family have assimilated into the local Israeli community whilst still preserving their strong Lebanese roots in their family life.

Maryam is a graduate of Communications, Media and Publicity at Iulm University in Milan, Italy. She is a native Arabic and Hebrew speaker and is fluent in English and Italian.  Currently, she is completing a Masters Degree in Political Communications at Bar Ilan University.  Her main topic of interest is the Lebanese (Tzadal) community in Israel.

Bentzie Matar is a 29-year-old Jew born and raised in Israel; first and foremost, however, he identifies as Noas’ husband and Almas’ father. He grew up in Efrat, an Israeli town located in the mountains of Judea, south of Jerusalem. After 4 years of full military service as an IDF officer in the Armored corps, he worked as a tour-guide, educating Israeli and foreign groups about the unique history and complicated political situation of Jerusalem.

Today, Bentzie is an undergraduate student at Shalem College, studying liberal arts, and focusing on philosophy and Jewish Studies. Through Shalem college, he coordinates the Diploact student group, in which he oversees the training of 20 students to represent Israel vis-a-vis the various BDS organizations that work to delegitimize the State of Israel. At the end of the year, these students will set out as a delegation to speak in US campuses. He devotes much of his time to work for a non-profit organization that initiates house renovation projects for families and elderly in need.

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