Yehuda Avner, Adviser to Several Israeli Prime Ministers, Dies at 86

Avner advised Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres and wrote speeches for Golda Meir and Levi Eshkol. He served as ambassador to Australia and the U.K.

Knesset website

Yehuda Avner, adviser to several Israeli prime ministers, ambassador, orator and author, died Tuesday in Jerusalem at age 86.

Avner advised three prime ministers - Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres - and wrote speeches for two more, Golda Meir and Levi Eshkol. He served as ambassador to Australia and the U.K.

Born in Manchester, England, in 1928, he moved to Jerusalem in 1947. His Wikipedia profile says he fought in the siege of Jerusalem during Israel's War of Independence and then was among the founders of Kibbutz Lavi, a short drive west of Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee.

He settled in Jerusalem in 1956 and joined Israel's Foreign Service two years later.

His 2010 book "The Prime Ministers" is a insider's memoir, and in 2013 and 2014 it was turned into a two-part documentary, which Avner narrated.

In a few months Toby Press is scheduled to release a novel Avner wrote, "The Ambassador."

And in 1992 Avner and photographer Gemma Levine published "The Young Inheritors: A Portrait of Israel's Children."

In a statement, his son-in-law, David Sable, called Avner the "consummate ambassador."

Avner, who was an Orthodox Jew, "represented Israel during tumultuous times and was respected by friend and foe alike as he brought his skills to the corridors of power and the backrooms of deals," Sable said.