For the first time, an Israeli has been appointed director of the British Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM).
The board of directors of the pro-Israeli organization last week approved the appointment of Foreign Ministry official Danny Shek as director general, a post that has been empty for the past two years.
Shek, who coordinated Israel's handling of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's indictment in Belgium, has previously served as the Foreign Ministry's Europe director, consul general in San Francisco, and ministry spokesman.
The Jewish community hopes Shek's experience and qualifications will help improve Israel's image in Britain and Western Europe.
The negotiations with Shek, who will move to Britain with his family for a few years, were conducted in secrecy for several months.
Shek's appointment took place shortly after Attorney Zvi Hefetz was appointed Israeli ambassador in London. Hefetz, who last week presented his credentials to the Queen, wishes to increase the cooperation with BICOM. Community sources said Shek's appointment might cause friction between BICOM and the embassy vis-a-vis the desirable media policy in Britain.