Hen Mazzig is a young, energetic, Israeli – a writer, international speaker, social media activist and advocate for his country. Hen’s family comes from Iraq and North Africa (Berber Jews from Tunisia), giving him a unique background for his talks, in which he shares his family’s story and the story of 850,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries.
As a young Israeli, Hen served in the IDF for almost five years as an openly gay commander. During his service as a lieutenant in the COGAT unit, he worked as an intermediary between the Israeli Defense Forces (the IDF), the Palestinian Authority, the UN, and the many non-governmental organizations that work in the West Bank. Hen’s unit was responsible for overseeing the construction of medical facilities, schools, environmental projects, roads, water-related infrastructure, and for security coordination with the Palestinian Security Forces, part of the Palestinian Authority.
From 2013-2015, Hen was the Campus Coordinator for StandWithUs in the Pacific Northwest, during which he fought BDS on college campuses and in communities. For the last two years, Hen led the Israel Education Department at StandWithUs Israel. His award winning articles and op-eds can be found in Haaretz, the Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel and more. He has shared his story with thousands of students throughout the USA, Canada and UK for the last four years. As of September 2016, he is working as a freelance consultant.
Hen has a proven track record of creating dialogue where it seems impossible. He has built relationships, friendships, and changed hearts and minds not simply by sharing the truth about Israel and the history of the region, but by being a voice for justice and peace for diverse groups and peoples. Hen is a rare voice in this divisive day and age that can unite people for a common cause rather than sewing discord and conflict over conflicting narratives in one of the most complex conflicts on earth.