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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Israeli ambassador to UN starts work in New York

Prosor becomes 16th envoy to United Nations, taking over for Meron Reuben; says he is honored by the "great responsibility."

The new Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, started work Wednesday, taking over for Meron Reuben, who had held the post on an interim basis since last year’s departure of Gabriella Shalev.

Prosor will be the 16th Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations. Previously, he was Israel’s Ambassador to Great Britain from 2007 until this year. Prosor has also served as Foreign Ministry Director-General and as a participant in the Wye Camp David peace talks in 1998. Prosor has served in foreign service capacities in Washington, Bonn and London.

Prosor said he is honored by the “great responsibility” of representing Israel at the United Nations, and that he is “confident” that he can present Israel’s agenda on political and security issues.

Prosor comes into his job at a particularly intriguing time, in light of the Palestinians perhaps going forward with a push for a unilateral UN declaration of statehood in September, as well as the scheduled UN commemoration of the anti-Israel Durban conference of 2001.

Prosor has said he will make sure that he addresses these issues, but that he will also take measures to make sure Israel’s positive impact is felt on the UN in areas beyond the Middle East conflict, and that Israel is seen as positively contributing to the international body.

“Not since Abba Eban's stints at the UN General Assembly has Israel had a diplomat who can put his country's case with such fluency and flair,” the Jewish Chronicle of London said of Prosor on his departure from his post. “A long-time admirer of President Shimon Peres, whom he can imitate with uncanny accuracy, Prosor has also taken on the Peres mantle of verbal dexterity, frequently coining phrases to sum up Israel's situation which crop up in repeated speeches. (He also, it should be noted, has a weakness for terrible puns and football allusions.)”

Ron Prosor (born 1958) is an Israeli diplomat and commentator on the Middle East. He served as Israeli Ambassador to the United Kingdom in 2007-2011. In February 2011, Prosor was appointed Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations.


As an officer in the Artillery Division of the IDF, Prosor attained the rank of Major. He holds a Masters degree in Political Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, graduating with distinction. He is married to Hadas with whom he has three children.

Journalism career

He is a prolific writer and commentator on the Middle East. His articles have appeared in the Daily Telegraph, The Times, the Sun and The Guardian. He is also regularly invited to comment in Britain's Jewish press, including the Jewish Chronicle and Jewish News.

He makes regular appearances on BBC Radio 4's 'Today' programme as well as BBC News 24 and Sky News.

Civil service career

Prosor served as Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Strategic Affairs, Counter Terrorism and Nuclear Disarmament in 2003, Chief of Staff to the Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom from 2003-4, and Senior Deputy Director General of the Ministry in 2004.

He served as Director-General of the Ministry from 2004-07. Together with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, he commissioned an El-Al flight to deliver aid to post-tsunami Sri Lanka and Indonesia, countries which had no diplomatic relations with Israel, which later led to their first political dialogue. He initiated resumed diplomatic negotiations with the Vatican and coordinated Israel's accession to UNESCO in 2007.

Diplomatic career

Prosor was received by Queen Elizabeth II in November 2007. Prior to his mission to London, he served as the Director-General of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs from, and oversaw the work of the Foreign Ministry during the disengagement from Gaza in 2005. His diplomatic postings include Embassy of Israel in Washington (1998–2002), Embassy of Israel in London (1995–98) and Embassy of Israel in Bonn (1988–92).

Prosor helped establish diplomatic relations between Western European powers and the former East Germany while based in Bonn, following the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Prosor was a member of Israel’s delegation to the Wye River Memorandum talks in 1998, and while in Washington served as the Counsellor for Political Affairs throughout the Camp David Accords peace talks.