Wednesday, 11 July 2007

How to beat the boycotts

The UK is getting a new Ambassador… and believe it or not, he actually speaks English. Not only that, but one of Israel’s most important diplomatic positions is being filled by someone with an impressive diplomatic record. Ron Prosor is a career diplomat. Fluent in English and German, he has represented Israel in Washington, London and other cities, as well as serving as the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The last three Israeli Ambassadors to the UK were all political appointments, and more often than not, totally inappropriate for the job. The current ambassador, Zvi Heifetz is a successful Russian-Israeli businessman, with a couple of years of experience as a Russian language advisor for the Ministry of Defense. In July 2004, Ariel Sharon appointed him to the post – apparently something to do with Heifetz’s close friendship with Sharon’s son Omri.

Heifetz was previously the chairman of an Israeli music production company, which at least served him well when making small talk with another pop music producer, British Mid East envoy Lord Levy.

Prosor might be good but he’s got an almighty challenge ahead of him. When asked at a recent event what his strategy would be to counter the union boycotts, Prosor proved that he was true Israeli Ambassador material – he replied, “a winning one”. Genius. This is precisely what the Israeli mission, as well as the community leaders have lacked for too long.

If Mr. Prosor starts employing this creative new strategy to other issues like promoting trade and tourism, he might even catch the eye of the locals. Within the next year, there’s bound to be a job opening at the English football team…

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