Gillerman (L) with US Ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad
Photo: Shahar Azran

Israel's UN envoy bids farewell to Washington

Dozens of ambassadors, businesspeople and members of US elite say goodbye to Dan Gillerman, who is ending his term in office after six years. Among guest: Palestinian observer, who receives special thanks from Israeli ambassador

WASHINGTON – Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman, who is ending his term in office after six years, held a farewell event at his home in Manhattan on Thursday.


The event was attended by ambassadors from dozens of countries, including some who quarrel with Israel on a regular basis at the Security Council, as well as UN General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim.


A large number of Arab envoys were also present at the event, including the ambassadors of Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar and Oman, and even Palestinian Observer Riyad Mansour, who quarreled with Gillerman during a discussion on the situation in the Gaza Strip only a few weeks ago.


In his goodbye speech, Gillerman asked to personally thank Mansour, saying that he deeply appreciated the fact that the Palestinian observer, who does not usually take part in events held by Israel, decided to arrive in the event despite the harsh criticism directed at him by Gillerman during his term.


Gillerman and Mansour demonstrate good relations despite disagreements (Photo: Shahar Azran)


The event was also attended by leading figures, businesspeople and members of the local high society, including Jewish writer and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations Malcolm Hoenlein, Jewish American billionaire Matthew Bronfman, Israeli billionaire Sami Ofer with his wife, US media mogul Mort Zuckerman, TV broadcaster Barbara Walters, owners of the Newsweek magazine, and many others.


Gillerman was appointed Israel's UN ambassador in 2002, during President Shimon Peres' tenure as foreign minister. He represented Israel at the UN Security Council during the second intifada and the heated debates over the separation fence. He fought against the attempts to condemn Israel over its activities in the territories, and worked to stress the suffering of the residents of Sderot and the Gaza vicinity communities.


Gillerman will be replaced in office by Prof. Gabriela Shalev, who currently serves as the rector of the Ono Academic College. Shalev was an associate professor of law at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and is considered a world renowned expert on contracts' law. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni selected Shalev after several other female candidates had turned the position down.


פרסום ראשון: 07.18.08, 08:10
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