An en­voy de­parts

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT&ANALYSIS -

There was much mur­mur­ing among An­glo-Jewry over Zvi Heifetz’s 2004 ap­point­ment as Is­raeli am­bas­sador to the Court of St James. Doubts were raised over his sta­tus as a po­lit­i­cal ap­pointee and his qual­i­fi­ca­tions as a diplo­mat, not to men­tion the snip­ing over his English-lan­guage skills. But it is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that this was dur­ing a time when the com­mu­nity was still frag­ile from the fall-out of the in­tifada, ex­pe­ri­enc­ing hos­til­ity both in the me­dia and in­creas­ingly in the form of at­tempted boy­cotts and even phys­i­cal at­tacks. Per­haps An­gloJewry ex­pected a new Is­raeli en­voy mag­i­cally to soothe all such ten­sions. In­deed, the sit­u­a­tion has im­proved in the in­ter­ven­ing years, for which credit must go to both our grass­roots ac­tivists and com­mu­nal in­sti­tu­tions and fig­ures, among whom Mr Heifetz can be proud to count him­self. Now, we can al­low our­selves to en­joy a sense of naches that “one of our own” will be work­ing with Tony Blair on the next stage of Pales­tinian na­tion-build­ing. Per­haps we should also al­low our­selves to ad­mit that Mr Heifetz’s ap­point­ment proves that some­times an un­con­ven­tional approach to diplo­macy can reap ben­e­fits.

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