New director of British Council calmly weathers Israel's storms
Alan Gemmell's roundabout journey to cultural post includes law school and the civil service. Despite brush with war in November and storms in January, 'I have never felt as welcome arriving in a new place,' he says.
When Alan Gemmell landed in Tel Aviv in late November to take up his post as the new director of the British Council in Israel, it was the day that Israel and Hamas declared a truce in the last Gaza war. “The first phone call I got was from my office back in London telling me not to leave my room,” he recalls.