Yuval Rotem retires
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An outstanding ambassador

Yuval Rotem retires

'He formed deep and longstanding relationships with senior Australian decision-makers and was admired and respected by the entire Jewish community'.

Yuval Rotem in Melbourne in 2013. Photo: Peter Haskin
Yuval Rotem in Melbourne in 2013. Photo: Peter Haskin

WELL-WISHERS have paid tribute to former Israeli ambassador to Australia Yuval Rotem, who retired as director-general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry last week after 35 years of service.

Rotem served in Australia for six years between 2007 and 2013, during which time he earned the friendship and respect of the Jewish community, politicians and journalists. He was appointed acting director-general of the Foreign Ministry in 2016 after the sudden resignation of Dore Gold, a position that was later made permanent. He will be replaced by Alon Ushpiz.

“How do you summarise 35 years of service at @IsraelMFA, 4 of them as DG? By saying farewell to friends & thanking them for their partnership,” Rotem posted on Twitter last Wednesday. 

“Thank you @IsraeliPM Netanyahu for the trust you placed in me; good luck to FM @Gabi_Ashkenazi and to @AlonUshpiz in the challenges ahead.”

Zionist Federation of Australia president Jeremy Leibler congratulated Rotem on his retirement, saying he had represented his country “with distinction, intelligence and humour”.

“Yuval was an outstanding ambassador to Australia and, later, director-general at a time when Israel’s relations with the Arab world improved out of sight. He formed deep and longstanding relationships with senior Australian decision-makers and was admired and respected by the entire Jewish community,” he said. 

“I enjoyed calling on him the last time I was in Israel, and look forward to seeing him again. I wish him all the best in his future endeavours.” 

Leibler also congratulated Ushpiz and said he looked forward to working with him.

Wishing Rotem “great success for the next chapter”, Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Alex Ryvchin tweeted, “You should be very proud of your achievements.”

Australia’s ambassador to Israel Chris Cannan said Rotem had been “an exceptional representative of his country and a very dear friend of Australia”. 

Cannan’s predecessor Dave Sharma, now the federal Member for Wentworth, said it “has been great to work with you @Yuval_Rotem over many years. 

“Thanks for your friendship as ambassador to Australia and your great service as Director-General.”

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