Dore Gold, the director general of the Foreign Ministry, has notified Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also serves as foreign minister, that he wishes to resign. Gold has been associated with Netanyahu for 25 years.
Saying that he was resigning for personal reasons, Gold, who serves at his post since June, 2015, issued a statement thanking the prime minister. "I will continue to put myself at your disposal for any task that you assign me in the future," he added.
"The post of Foreign Ministry director general has constituted a personal and professional peak in the years during which I have served on the diplomatic front. I am grateful to the professional and dedicated staff of the Foreign Minister, with whom together we have led Israel's diplomatic battles. I wish great success to my successor," Gold said.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has decided to appoint Yuval Rotem as acting Foreign Ministry director general. Rotem has been an employee of the ministry for the past 30 years who currently heads the public diplomacy staff at the Foreign Ministry. He is a former Israeli ambassador to Australia and a former consul general in Los Angeles, who also previously served as chief of staff of the foreign minister's office.
Gold, born in Hartford, Connecticut, is a Columbia University graduate. He immigrated to Israel in 1980. From 1985 to 1996, he was a senior research associate at the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, and in 1991, was an adviser to the Israeli delegation at the Madrid Peace Conference.
During Netanyahu’s first term as prime minister in the 1990s, Gold served first as the prime minister's foreign policy adviser and as Israel's ambassador to the United Nations. In 2000, he was appointed president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, a think tank.
He had no formal position in Netanyahu’s second administration, between 2009 and 2013, but Netanyahu consulted with him periodically and invited him to meetings on issues such as public diplomacy and relations with the United States. Gold was employed on a special contract as an outside consultant prior to his appointment as director general last year.
In August of this year, Gold led a Foreign Ministry delegation to an unnamed Muslim country in Africa with which Israel has no diplomatic relations, where he held meetings with senior officials. It was the first visit by an Israeli diplomatic delegation to the country.
That visit followed other informal contact in July when a Saudi Arabian delegation, another country with which Israel has no formal relations, visited Israel and met with Gold. The delegation, which was headed by retired Saudi General Anwar Eshki, included Saudi academics and business people.
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