Feb 19, 2010
Tweet Reveals Private Meeting

Lubavitch Center in Washington, DC, played host to a private dinner for a visiting foreign dignitary - until the guest tweeted.

By Aryeh Levin, COLlive reporter

One a recent snowy evening, guests arrived at the Lubavitch Center in Washington, DC, home of American Friends of Lubavitch, which played host to a private dinner meeting for a visiting foreign dignitary.

"Heading to dinner with a prominent Jewish Ambassador to the United States - will say more after I see if it's on-the-record," William Daroff, Vice President for Public Policy for the Jewish Federations of North America, tweeted on his account.

He was referring to Houda Nonoo, Bahrain's Ambassador to the U.S. - believed to be the Arab world's first Jewish envoy, who attends services at The Shul of the Nation's Capital at Lubavitch Center.

Joining him were senior representatives of AIPAC, American Jewish Committee, B'nai B'rith International, Anti-Defamation League and other prominent members of the Washington Jewish community.

Daroff's message on the micro-blogging site sparked interest, and COLlive.com immediately inquired about it. But Chabad Rabbi Levi Shemtov declined to elaborate.

Soon enough, at 8:45 PM, the dinner's special guest leaked it himself - through Twitter.

Bahraini Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa tweeted: "Was invited by my friend rabbi shimtov 2 a dinner w/ leaders of the American Jewish community. gr8 discussion abt peace in ME (Middle East)."

"It was supposed to be hush-hush, but, nu, it was tweeted," Ron Kampeas, Washington reporter for JTA, wrote on his blog.

After learning of the tweet, Rabbi Shemtov told COLlive that the minister said: "People must understand that Israel has a historical presence in the region of the Middle East, belongs there and is a permanent presence in the region."

The minister added: "Once others will accept these facts, it will be easier to make peace" - a point he was said publicly in the past, but reiterated to the Jewish leaders.

Shemtov told JTA that, especially around Purim time, it's worth singling out for praise non-Jews who speak truth to power to regional leaders threatening Jewish annihilation.

"There are those, unfortunately too few as yet in the region, who say there is virtue to the Jewish people and if we discover it and explore it we may find the need for conflict is not really there," Shemtov said.

"His excellency King Hamad and his excellency Shaikh Khalid are such people."



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Opinions and Comments
1
Elki
Wow! I wonder if any other such clandestine meetings ever took place. I hope this minister stays alive and healthy after his co-religionists in the Middle East read the news.
(2/19/2010 9:46:33 AM)
2
go levi
and eli
:)
(2/19/2010 10:16:47 AM)
3
Sounds REALLY private!!
With all the pictures and all, sounds like it was really a private meeting - !
(2/20/2010 12:47:28 AM)
4
good luck rabbi
you cannot underestimate your influence in terms of advancing policy for yiddishkeit and for a safer eretz yisroel and a more just eretz yisroel

may real leadership arrive in israel soon soo that your job of reaction will be alot better
(2/20/2010 11:51:59 AM)
5
nice!
Shemtovs do big, great stuff!
(2/20/2010 12:48:00 PM)
6
borat
looks like azamat from kazakhstan
(2/20/2010 1:10:26 PM)
7
Big guy huh?
ohh and nice touch there with the kid in the pic
(2/20/2010 1:50:03 PM)
8
Nechama Long time no see
Wonderful work you are doing there. Regards from Edmonton Alberta aka your classmate.
(2/20/2010 2:25:54 PM)
9
wow
beautiful to see the work of the shluchim!!
to his wife, you did a beautiful job with the set up and the food, everything looks beautiful in the pictures!!
(2/20/2010 2:56:37 PM)
10
nechama feldman
regards!
(2/21/2010 12:04:07 AM)
11
go eli!!
cool picture.
(2/23/2010 9:28:16 AM)
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