Israel's new envoy: Daniel Taub
Elegant speaker : Oxford graduate and new ambassador Daniel Taub
The Israeli Foreign Ministry's senior appointments committee has selected London-born Daniel Taub as the next ambassador to Britain.
Colleagues lauded the selection of the 49-year-old as "an inspired and worthy choice", despite the Foreign Ministry employees' union objecting over his lack of seniority.
Headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, the committee chose Mr Taub, currently the ministry's deputy legal counsel, to replace Ron Prosor, who took up his new post as Israel's ambassador to the United Nations last week.
It is not yet clear when Mr Taub will start work in London, as the Israeli cabinet still has to ratify his appointment.
Colleagues see him as an inspired and worthy choice
The appointment procedure was protracted as Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman first fought off an attempt by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to appoint his former adviser, Uzi Arad.
Mr Taub's main competitor for the job was ministry deputy-general Jeremy Issacharoff. The fact that Mr Taub, who was the deputy head of Israel's negotiating team with the Palestinian Authority, was preferred over more senior colleagues was the reason for the union's objection, which cited his lack of experience in foreign postings and managing large teams.
"The union's objection is self-serving drivel," said one colleague of Mr Taub. "They want everything to go on linear scales of seniority instead of choosing the best man for the job. The embassy in London is a complex job, it needs a combination of skills, including experience of hardcore diplomatic issues, a wealth of knowledge on every aspect of Israel's foreign relations, and the capability to put its case across in the public arena. Daniel has all this in abundance."
The fact that Mr Taub, and his wife Zehava, were both born in London and educated in Britain before emigrating to Israel has been cited by many as a definite plus when dealing with the Jewish community and the British media, key aspects of the post.
When asked to compare Mr Taub with his predecessor, an Israeli diplomat who previously served in London said: "I think people will find that Daniel will be just as energetic as Ron at appearing on every public platform, arguing Israel's case. His tone will be more nuanced. He is a very creative debater, who brings his legal, historic and Jewish knowledge to every argument in an elegant and stylish way."
Mr and Mrs Taub have six children between the ages of eight and 22 and are expected to move the family from their current home in the Baka neighbourhood of Jerusalem.
Daniel Taub: Background
school: Menorah Primary School, Golders Green, and Haberdashers’ Aske’s, Hertfordshire
Youth Movement Positions: Was active in Bnei Akiva and study groups
University: 1980-83 — University College, Oxford
Student Activities: Education officer of UJS. President of Oxford University Israel Society and JSoc