2013 – Ambassador Daniel Taub
With over two decades of experience in Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, His.Excellency. Daniel Taub has played a key role in a wide range of diplomatic, legal and political arenas.
As Principal Deputy Legal Adviser of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Taub served as legal adviser to Israel’s missions to the United Nations in New York and Geneva, and represented Israel in many multilateral fora.
Ambassador Taub was extensively involved in the Israeli- Palestinian peace process, helping negotiate most of the agreements reached between the two sides, and heading the Israeli side of the Culture of Peace track of negotiations. He was also an active member of Israel’s negotiation team in the Israel-Syrian negotiations.
Ambassador Taub is a much sought after lecturer on Middle Eastern issues, international law and negotiation theory. He is frequently invited to appear on television and radio, and lectures widely in universities and policy institutes in Israel and abroad. Within Israel’s foreign ministry he developed and taught training programs for Israeli diplomats in negotiation strategies and communications skills.
In his army service, Ambassador Taub served as a combat medic and as a reserve officer in the IDF’s international law division.
Ambassador Taub holds degrees from the universities of Oxford (University College), London (University College), and Harvard (Kennedy School of Government).
Together with his wife Zehava, he has six children: Yehuda, Tsofia, Aaron, Reuven, Asher and Amichai.
In his address at the dinner Ambassador Taub noted that he had served briefly as a combat medic in the Israel Defence Forces. He referred to the Israeli Army oath which required medics to treat all injured on the battlefield – from both sides – which was a clear reflection of a higher value which the Army has to respect and implement. Later in his career he had participated in the negotiations for the recognition of Magen David Adom by the International Red Cross.
With regard to legal issues, he discussed how he had had to give advice about aspects of warfare, and in particular about ethical dimensions of what is and is not lawful. He observed that the concept of a United Nations may have been wonderful at the outset but that it has become an organisation which is defined by the ability to remain silent in so many instances. The behaviour of the UN in relationship to Gaza was a striking example of dysfunction.
Reflecting on Israeli medicine today, he said that the Israeli hospital ward is a force for unity, demonstrating how multiple nationalities can live together harmoniously. Despite this, Israel faces challenges not only militarily but also in terms of legitimacy, and today some of these challenges are emanating from universities and hospitals in the UK, which harms relationships. Responses need to be immediate – do not let false accusation go unanswered – but the deeper response is also very important, which has to include the promotion of enduring medical and academic links between the countries.