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Israel president’s brother top pick for next envoy to the US

August 6, 2021 at 1:55 pm

Retired General Michael Herzog, 20 May 2016 [Asia Society/Flickr]

Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s brother, retired General Michael Herzog, is the country’s top candidate for the position of ambassador to the United States (US), reported the Times of Israel.

The position opened after current Ambassador to the US Gilad Erdan tendered his resignation in June, though he is expected to remain as the occupying state’s envoy at the UN.

Currently a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Michael, the president’s older brother, had a long military career in the Israeli army including as head of strategic planning, and is a retired brigadier-general.

He later served as a senior adviser to Israeli defence ministers Ehud Barak, Amir Peretz, Shaul Mofaz and Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, including as chief of staff to the defence minister.

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He is also reported to have developed many connections in Washington, including with current President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, as former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s special envoy for the peace process in 2009-2010.

A source told the Times of Israel that Herzog was a “slam dunk” for the post and “checks all the boxes.”

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett plans to discuss Michael’s nomination during Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting for final approval.