The new Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor accompanied his arrival in Berlin on Monday and his first day at the embassy on Tuesday with a small media offensive in the social networks. He was excited and looking forward to the task, the career diplomat explained in fluent German in videos taken after his arrival at Berlin-Brandenburg Airport and while welcoming his new employees at the embassy. The relationship between the two countries is “not just a special relationship, but really a unique relationship,” he said. For both Germans and Israelis, it is “really a privilege to cultivate German-Israeli relations.”
For the 63-year-old Prosor, the new task in Berlin is both a professional and family return. Before and after the fall of the Wall, he worked as a spokesman in the Israeli embassy in the then German capital of Bonn, first establishing relationships with the GDR and later with the new federal states.
Regarding his personal connections to Germany, the future ambassador said: “My father is originally from Berlin.” His family emigrated in 1933, the year the National Socialists came to power. His father Uri Prosor was born in Berlin in 1927 and fled to Palestine with his parents when he was six. He also served Israel as a diplomat, including serving as ambassador to Jamaica. His father was “a real Prussian”, Prosor now told the Swiss online medium “audiatur-online”.
The political scientist is considered one of the most distinguished diplomats in his country and has already held important posts. He was Ambassador to London (2007 to 2011) and Israeli Envoy to the United Nations (2011 to 2015). Between 2004 and 2007 he was Director General of the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem and was involved in secret missions, among other things, in preparing the resumption of relations with Arab states such as Bahrain. Most recently, the former artillery officer in the Israeli army headed the Abba Eban Institute for International Diplomacy at Reichman University in Herzliya.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Prosor’s appointment symbolized “the importance of Israeli-German relations and the further strengthening of cooperation with the new government in Berlin”. Prosor’s experience and many years of cooperation with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs would “make a great contribution to solving the challenges on the international stage”. In view of the unstable situation of the government in Israel, one of the tasks of the new ambassador should be to ensure stability in relations with Germany, regardless of a possible change of government after new elections.
After the USA, Germany is one of the most important partners in Israel. Conversely, German politicians have acknowledged that Israel’s existence is “part of Germany’s reason of state” since former Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) coined this sentence in front of the Knesset in 2008. Differences of opinion with regard to the nuclear agreement with Iran, the two-state solution still advocated by Germany or the building of settlements in areas occupied by Israel do little to change this. Within the EU, Berlin is seen as a force that tends to soften harsh resolutions against Israel. It is not always possible to maintain European unity. For example, the EU fell completely apart when it came to voting on whether Palestine should become a full member of UNESCO.
A few days ago, the designated German ambassador in Tel Aviv, Steffen Seibert, introduced himself to his host country in a tweet, congratulated Prosor and promised to work together to cultivate relations between the two countries. In any case, Seibert uses Prosor on a first-name basis, as a response from him to the welcome tweet from the new ambassador from Berlin shows. “Thank you for your good tips in the café the other day,” wrote the long-time German government spokesman: “I hope we can do a lot together for this unique Israeli-German friendship.”