Dore Gold resigns as Israel’s MFI head

  • Gold Dore1
The long-time confidant of Netanyahu stepped down Thursday as director-general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry and de facto Minister of Foreign Affairs. Netanyahu has held the ministerial post himself since the last election. Gold made what was bilaterally hailed as a highly successful trip to SA in March to visit his counterpart at DIRCO, Ambassador Jerry Matjile, who had extended the invitation.
by ANT KATZ | Oct 14, 2016

Gold, an American-born former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, cited “personal reasons” in Thursday’s announcement, which came as a surprise. He served in the position for 16 months.

Soweto 4The diplomat made what was bilaterally hailed as a highly successful trip to SA in March to visit his counterpart from the Department of International Relations and Co-operation of South Africa (DIRCO), Ambassador Jerry Matjile.

RIGHT: Dr Gold signs the visitor’s book at Mandela House Museum, flanked by Ambassador Arthur Lenk, left, and Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein - Pic: ANT KATZ

The bilateral discussions were the highest-level diplomatic meeting between the two countries in over a decade and was at the invitation of the South Africans. In a joint media statement after the meeting, Gold and Matjile said “discussions focused on the relations between the two countries and the sides agreed on improving cooperation between the two countries”.

Reports have said that Gold, 63, had a falling-out with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and that he was unhappy the prime minister excluded him from a tighter circle of personal advisers, including his personal envoy, Isaac Molho.

The Prime Minister’s Office announced late Thursday afternoon that Netanyahu had decided to appoint Yuval Rotem, the head of public diplomacy in the Foreign Ministry, as acting director general.

Gold had twice served as a foreign policy adviser to Netanyahu before becoming the country’s chief diplomat.

He formerly ran the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, a conservative think tank, a job that he reportedly will return to.

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ABOVE: Dore Gold gave an impromptu talk to a school group at Mandela House in Soweto. He told them that Israel had - as South Africa is now -gone through a transformation from colonialism to democracy. In the photograph, he is accompanied by Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein, who told Jewish Report that Gold’s visit represented “such important symbolism to both countries”.  Pic: ANT KATZ

During his Foreign Ministry tenure, Gold oversaw several foreign policy breakthroughs, including repairing diplomatic relations with several African countries.

“I thank the prime minister for the trust he has placed in me and will continue to make myself available for any mission imposed on me in the future,” Rotem said afterwards.

Rotem has served in the Foreign Ministry for 30 years. He previously served as ambassador to Australia, consul general in Los Angeles, and head of the foreign minister’s staff.  JTA

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