Farewell Ron, You Will Be Missed

It’s not often these days that the Israeli diplomatic service produces real heroes. But Ron Prosor, Israel’s Ambassador to the UK is one. For the past four years, he has taken on one of the most difficult jobs imaginable – promoting and defending Israel in one of the world’s hotbeds of anti-Israel activity – and led from the front.

Ambassador Prosor has tirelessly traveled to university campuses, town halls and anywhere else that he has had the opportunity to make Israel’s case, often facing down and disarming hostile audiences with his natural charm and expertise.

He has also been prolific in the media, including in today’s Daily Telegraph where he has penned something of a farewell to the UK before taking up his next position as Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations. Farewell Ron, you will be missed.

Here is some of his latest opinion piece from the Daily Telegraph:

After four years as Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, I am leaving to represent my country at the UN. I have cause, therefore, to take stock. I admire Britain. Our nations remain united by shared values and common interests. We are members of an elite club of countries whose flags are frequently burnt in hostile Middle Eastern dictatorships. I am proud to represent a country that, like this one, is grounded in democratic values, tolerance and freedom of expression.

The regime in the Islamic Republic of Iran has long referred to the “Great Satan” of America, and the “Little Satan” of Israel. But the venomous tirades of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, its president, also include regular mentions of “criminal Britain”, proof that you must be doing something right.

Allegations that appear quaintly ludicrous to Western audiences hold sway in prominent positions throughout the Middle East. When a shark attacked a tourist in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, the local Egyptian governor suggested Mossad was using sharks to harm Egyptian tourism. When scientists at Tel Aviv University tagged a flock of vultures to monitor their flight patterns, Saudi police arrested an itinerant bird as an Israeli spy. We fear that in interrogation, the bird sang. One British commentator wondered whether the real head of the Mossad was in fact Dr Dolittle.

Read the rest here.

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Ehud Yaari

Ehud Yaari has been a Middle East commentator for Israeli television since 1975, and was formerly an associate editor of...