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Ambassador Yehuda Avner

Owen Johnson speaks with former Israeli prime ministerial advisor and diplomat Yehuda Avner.

Yehuda Avner in dark suit, red striped tie

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Yehuda Avner

When I presented my credentials to the Queen, she said to me rather quizzically, “I do believe this is the very first time I’ve ever received credentials from a foreign ambassador born in this country. How did you manage that?”

Yehuda Avner worked for five Israeli prime ministers—as speechwriter and secretary to Prime Ministers Levi Eshkol and Golda Meir, and as advisor to Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin, Menachem Begin, and Shimon Peres.

Born in Manchester, England, Avner went to Palestine in 1947, where he fought in the siege of Jerusalem during the War of Independence.

Avner joined the Foreign Ministry in 1958. He was present for major decision-making moments related to military operations and diplomatic negotiations, including Operation Entebbe, Operation Opera, and the signing of the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. He also served as inspector-general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and was ambassador to the UK and Australia.

He is the author of The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership.

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