Former Ambassador’s Legacy Building Bridges Between Israel and UK

Even though discrimination and threats against Jewish communities have continued for centuries, it is often forgotten that antisemitism still has a grip on Europe and the West.

A 2014 article by Elad Benari shows just how commonplace and ugly it can be, but also paints a picture of diplomatic leadership and community building on the part of Israel’s then-ambassador to the U.K., Daniel Taub.

As ambassador, Mr. Taub was lauded for fostering communication, communication, and bridge-building in divided communities like Bradford, a city British MP George Galloway declared should be an “Israel-free zone, without academics, tourists, goods or services from that country,” according to Israel National News.

Benari goes on to describe Mr. Taub’s hands-on resolution, visiting the city to hold a series of meetings with councilors, faith leaders and other groups, where he discovered “the real voice of Bradford” was one of inclusion, and its citizens didn’t agree with Galloway’s polemic.

Of Bradford, “it is an important model of how people from all faiths and backgrounds can live and work and co-operate together,” Taub is quoted as saying.

Having held many legal and diplomatic posts in his career, Daniel Taub is an English native who immigrated to Israel in 1989. In his four years serving as England’s Israeli ambassador, he oversaw a doubling of trade between Israel and the UK, and “a significant deepening of academic, business and cultural links between the two countries,” according to American newspaper The Algemeiner.

Galloway’s attitudes reflect the long history of anti-Jewish sentiment and exclusionary politics that plague cities from St. Petersburg to Paris and beyond, with bomb threats and toppled tomb stones stunning Jewish communities in the US at the beginning of 2017.

As Taub observes, the conflict is not a regional or ideological one, but one “between the past and the future,” between a tradition of mistrust and the new one of dialogue and progressive values.

Now serving as Director of Strategy and Planning of the Yad Hanadiv Foundation, whose work is “advancing Israel as a healthy, vibrant, democratic society,” Daniel Taub continues his commitment to the Jewish roots and values that made him one of the most effective ambassadors in Britain’s history.

What he showed in Bradford is true of the world: meaningful dialogue, interfaith cooperation, and proactive community building are what’s needed to create “a better future for all.”

Learn more about Daniel Taub: