Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman at the weekend quietly appointed Israel’s next ambassador to the United Nations, career diplomat Meron Reuben.
The South Africa-born Reuben is currently serving as Israel’s ambassador to Colombia, and has previously been ambassador to Paraguay and Bolivia. He is well liked and respected throughout the Foreign Ministry, and ministry officials praised the decision to appoint someone in-house to the UN post. In the past, the post of UN ambassador has been used as a political appointment.
However, other ministry officials feared that as good as he may be, Reuben simply does not possess the experience needed to perform as needed at the UN. They also expressed concern that his young age (49) and his mid-level posting until now will make it difficult for him to work with other senior diplomats who view themselves as his superior.
Reuben’s appointment is technically a temporary one, but after a few months in the post, he is certain to be officially confirmed. Lieberman used the temporary status in order to bypass the cabinet in his appointment. Lieberman was reportedly still upset that Prime Minister Netanyahu blocked his previous attempt to appoint former consul-general in NY Alon Pinkas to the post.