The frontrunners for UK Israel envoy revealed

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 19, 2011
Daniel Taub

Daniel Taub

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem is expected to announce Israel's new ambassador to the United Kingdom next week. The ambassador will be an internal candidate, and not a "political appointment".

Current ambassador, Ron Prosor, is to leave for his new posting at the United Nations in New York in two weeks and the senior committee at the Foreign Ministry will meet next Sunday to decide on his successor. Any Israeli diplomat with the necessary credentials can apply for the post, and as Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced three months ago that the job would not be filled by a candidate from outside the ministry, several diplomats have declared their candidacy. Among the front-runners are Daniel Taub, the ministry's deputy legal counsel, and Jeremy Issacharoff, deputy director general for strategic affairs at the ministry. Other possible candidates are Israel's ambassador to India, Mark Sofer, and deputy director-general for Western Europe, Naor Gilon. Unlike the other candidates, Mr Gilon is not British-born, but he is highly thought of in the ministry.

The senior committee is chaired by director-general Raphael Barak, but the eventual appointee will be approved by Mr Lieberman.

In an intriguing postscript to the appointment process, Israeli media reported this week that former National Security Council head Uzi Arad was forced to leave his post due to having leaked to the press information "of national importance". Mr Arad had been pitched as the next UK ambassador by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, only to have Mr Lieberman announce that he would not agree to his appointment.

Last updated: 12:48pm, May 19 2011