I had a chance to interview Daniel Taub (the now departing Israeli ambassador to the UK) while he was in Helsinki, the first time I met with him was at the Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem.
Taub’s next job, according to rumors that he declines to confirm, will be as Netanyahu’s special advisor and envoy on fighting the BDS movement and the campaign to delegitimize Israel. Taub’s own take on the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign is much more nuanced than that expressed recently by Israeli politicians, including the prime minister.
“The delegitimization campaign hasn’t achieved its stated goals and there are very few actual boycotts. But it does create a chill factor. I’m not saying there is no danger, but that the actual danger is from the boycotters’ unstated goals — chipping away at Israel’s legitimacy in the public consciousness. It’s a complex challenge that manifests in many different ways. That’s why we have to form a very wide coalition to confront it. I’ve said that it’s like changing over from classical music to jazz. We need a lot of players, each playing to their audience in their own way.”
Working Behind the Scenes to Confront Israel Boycotters
Anshel Pfeffer Aug 05, 2015 8:22 PM
Daniel Taub . “I don’t think our job is to convince the media.”Bau Bau
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LONDON — Daniel Taub returns this week to Jerusalem, after four years as Israel’s ambassador to Britain, without a new ambassador ready to take his place in what was once seen as a key posting for Israeli foreign policy. As a veteran diplomat and lawyer, Taub will not say anything that may sound like criticism of the Israeli government and the political and administrative logjam that has caused the delay of a long list of diplomatic appointments. Instead, he emphasizes the importance of the London embassy.
“For better or worse, many of the views of the international community are still formed in Britain. Its media is international and it’s a global financial center. The United States is of unique importance of course, but even they don’t want to act alone and Britain is important to them and to us.”
Many in Britain’s political elite seem resigned to the fact that the United Kingdom has become a second-rate power at best, but Taub believes that what it may have lost in military, financial and diplomatic clout it has gained due to the central role played by the British press on the global 24/7 media scene. That is why the embassy in London, and Taub himself, devote more effort than most Israeli representatives to the media, both in interviews and behind-the-scenes briefings. While some of his predecessors saw much of the British media as hopelessly biased against Israel, Taub’s view is more nuanced.
read more: (I usually don’t link to the post-Zionist rag Haaretz, but this happens to be a very good article.)