When asked about whether it was difficult to keep his personal opinions and public stances separate, the outgoing Israeli ambassador to the Court of Saint James says that it really is not that complicated. Born in the UK, Daniel Taub served as Israel`s ambassador to Britain from 2011-2015. He gave up his British citizenship to serve the country he adopted as his own nearly three decades ago, and after six years, he believes that the special relationship between the two countries is stronger than ever.
Educated at Oxford, Harvard, and University College London, Taub joined the Israeli Defense Force in 1989, eventually serving in its international legal division. In 1991, he began his long career as a diplomat with Israel`s foreign ministry, advising the government on international negotiations and representing Tel Aviv in international forums at the highest level.
Although the last decade has seen considerable challenges for the Middle East, Daniel Taub is cautiously optimistic about the future. There always seems to be a crisis breaking, and Iran is a perpetual concern. According to Taub, Israel is concerned about the prospect of Tehran not meeting its treaty obligations, but it is also wary about the effects of easing sanctions, something which has the potential to strengthen Hezbollah and Hamas.
However, Taub is a bit more bullish about the possibility of a long-term peaceful relationship with Egypt and Jordan. He also pointed out that Israel is finding common ground with the Gulf states on a number of pressing concerns. Moreover, he is optimistic about regaining the support of progressive Britons, stressing that the ideas of progressive Israelis are the same beliefs shared by Britain`s left.
A testament to Ambassador Daniel Taub`s impact is the fact that under his watch, the UK-Israeli trade doubled in value, with some estimates putting the overall value of trade between the two countries at $7 billion. Despite his success, throughout his tenure, Ambassador Taub expressed concern with anti-Israeli sentiment, and wanted to make certain that all views, including pro-Israeli views were allowed in Britain. After one member of parliament declared his district an “Israeli-free zone,” the Ambassador visited the area in protest of the parliamentarian`s statements.