UK ambassador Matthew Gould has spoken of the “golden thread” linking British Jews with Israel.
Mr Gould, who is standing down from his post after five years as ambassador to Israel, praised the support that the Jewish community in the UK gives to the country. He said: “The support we have received from the Jewish community and the support that the community in the UK gives to the relationship between Britain and Israel is something of a golden thread between the two countries.”
He also praised the work of the Board of Deputies in playing a “critical role as a voice for the community and in providing leadership”.
Mr Gould was speaking at a reception hosted by the Board to mark his departure from the job and to welcome the new ambassador David Quarrey, a former private secretary to Tony Blair, who takes up the post in the summer.
Mr Quarry said that being the UK’s ambassador to Israel was a daunting task but that he was looking forward to the challenge. He said: “Conventional wisdom has it that you should never take over from an ambassador who has had such an amazing impact. But actually it’s a real pleasure to step into and build from such good foundations.”
Daniel Taub, the Israeli ambassador to the UK, who like Mr Gould was born into a London Jewish family, also paid tribute to his counterpart. He said: “Israel prides itself as being the model of creative energy but the greatest example of creative energy is Matthew himself. The innovations he has introduced have been the model which have been copied in embassies around the world.”
Board of Deputies president Vivian Wineman praised Mr Gould as a “distinguished envoy for this country in Israel. He said: “Matthew has taken relations between Britain and Israel to a new level. The way Matthew has improved the ties and made a difference personally has been remarkable and put him in a class of his own. He has a commitment to Zionism combined with a great sense of professionalism in representing the British government during difficult times in Israel.
Photo Credit: John Rifkin