Next week, Israel’s new Ambassador to Germany, Ron Prosor, will present his credentials to President Steinmeier. Jerusalem sent a very experienced diplomat who has ties to Germany and lived in the Federal Republic twice before.
Berlin, August 15th, 2022. Update: August 16th, 2022, 11:43 a.m. CEDT (The Berlin Spectator) — “It is exciting to be here in Berlin”, Ron Prosor stated at BER Airport on August 1st, 2022, just minutes after he had touched down on an El Al aircraft that flew in from Tel Aviv. “To me, as a diplomat, this is one of the most important posts. At the same time, I’ve come full circle. The German-Israeli relations lie close to my heart”, the experienced diplomat said. In part, this has to do with his own history and that of his family.
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U.N. and U.K.
Prosor’s late father Uri Prosor was a native Berliner. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, his family fled to Palestine, which became Israel fifteen years later. Uri Prosor became a diplomat decades before his son followed in his footsteps, including in Bonn, where Ron Prosor graduated at the American High School. The designated Ambassador himself was the spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Bonn from 1988 to 1992, when Helmut Kohl was Chancellor of West Germany. The diplomat witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall. Obviously, a lot has happened since.
Ron Prosor was Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations in New York. This is where he kept on fighting the wide-spread bias towards the only predominantly Jewish state in the world, an issue that persists at the U.N. even today. Later, from 2007 to 2011, Prosor was his country’s Ambassador in the United Kingdom. He has also been Director of the Foreign Ministry in Givat Ram, Jerusalem. In this position, he worked on the Abraham Accords, a U.S.-brokered peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Later, a similar agreement was struck with Bahrain.
Obviously, the Israeli government refrained from sending a novice to Berlin. With the 62-year-old Ron Prosor from Jerusalem, a very savvy diplomat with thirty years of experience got the important job in Germany. He is one of the best Israel has. Prime Minister Yair Lapid said the appointment reflected the importance of Israel’s relations with the Federal Republic of Germany. Prosor is supposed to work on strengthening them further.
The day after he arrived, Prosor greeted the staff at the Embassy of Israel and announced there would be an “open dialog”. He encouraged his people to forward ideas to him in order to discuss them. “It is a privilege to all of us, as Israelis or Germans, to maintain the relations between the two countries”, he told his staff.
Ceremony and Reception
Ron Prosor, a likeable man with a constant smile, is obviously ready to rumble. But during the first three weeks of his stay in Germany, he is designated Ambassador only because he has to wait for Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier who is on vacation in South Tyrol, where he is climbing mountains. On Sunday, Steinmeier will be at the Bayreuth Festival. Ron Prosor will present his credentials to him on Monday, August 22nd, 2022 and become Ambassador officially.
The German-Israeli relations are very good. Obviously, there are issues to deal with. Antisemitism in Germany is on the rise among right-wing extremists, in the radical left and within the large Muslim community. BDS, a group the Bundestag recently labeled as antisemitic, is successfully recruiting members and ‘activists’ while spreading conspiracy theories about Israel.
Differences of Opinion
Of course, there are differences of opinion too. The way Germany deals with Islamist terror organizations is not satisfactory from the perspective of Israel. For instance, it took Berlin decades to finally ban Hezbollah. Until today, the PFLP has not been banned in Germany, even though the terror group hijacked two Lufthansa planes in the 1970s. In regard to Iran, there are differences too. Germany wants to save the agreement known as ‘Iran Deal’, Israel does not.
On top of it all, the German government keeps on telling Israel to pursue the Two State Solution, in spite of the fact that the Jewish state has tried to implement it for decades, by accepting all peace proposals that have been on the table since 1948, while the Arab leaders rejected all of them. Neither the Palestinian Authority (PA) nor the terror organization Hamas recognize Israel, want peace or intend to negotiate. Both of them want to get rid of Israel altogether.
In spite of this position and an antisemitic indoctrination of children in Gaza and elsewhere in the Palestinian areas, in spite of the frequent wars Israel is being pulled into without wanting them, and in spite of frequent terror attacks against Israeli Jews, the European Union and Germany fund the PA and controversial organizations generously. Under former Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, the Germans frequently voted for more than questionable U.N. resolutions that targeted Israel.
All of the above means that there is always something to talk about. Of course, there are encouraging developments too. Ron Prosor announced he wanted to strengthen the relations between both the governments and the people of Israel and Germany. There already is a frequent exchange. Especially young Israelis, including students, party people and tourists, come to Berlin a lot. Businesses from both states cooperate. So do the scientific communities.
No Communication Issues
Since he and his wife arrived in Berlin, Ron Prosor has been busy preparing for his time as Ambassador. He keeps on explaining and commenting on the situation in and around Israel on Twitter, including Islamic Jihad’s recent attacks against the country. He also met the publisher Friede Springer, observed Sabbath with Berlin’s prominent Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, and thanked Berlin’s firefighters for extinguishing the recent forest fire in Grunewald.
Ambassador Prosor will not have any communication issues in the Federal Republic. His German is excellent.
[…] designated Ambassador to Germany Ron Prosor said Abbas’ statement reminded him of his dissertation in which he had denied the Holocaust. […]