Israel's top diplomat to visit SA next week

  • Gold Dore1
In what is thought to be the highest level of diplomatic engagement between Israel and South Africa in many years, Ambassador Jerry Matthews Matjila, director-general of the SA Department of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco), has invited his Israeli counterpart, the director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MFA), Dore Gold, to hold bilateral talks in Pretoria next week.
by ANT KATZ | Mar 02, 2016

Gold is the de facto highest ranking member of the MFA as there is no minister; that post is being retained by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

During his short visit, Gold, an accomplished writer, Middle East expert and past UN Ambassador, will also be engaging with South African Jewry.

Asked by Jewish Report if there was any special issue or item on the agenda for next week’s meeting, Israel’s Ambassador to South Africa Arthur Lenk, said it was simply “normal between countries” who have diplomatic relations to engage at this level.

Gold DoreAt the time of going to press, Dirco told Jewish Report it was seeking “the consent and approval of the executive authority of the Department” before being able to confirm the invitation.

Dore will be a guest of the Israeli Embassy and also would like to see Soweto during his visit. The request has been received and noted. 

Gold, an accomplished diplomat and author, has been at the forefront of Israeli/Palestinian peace negotiations since 1991 when he was an adviser to the Israeli delegation at the Madrid Peace Conference. He was instrumental in forging the relationship between (then opposition) Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan - and accompanied Netanyahu to meetings with the Jordanian leadership in 1994/5 in London, Amman and in Aqaba.

As the foreign policy adviser under Netanyahu after the 1996 elections, Gold worked with the PA, Egypt, Jordan and others in the Arab world.

While Gold has never personally written about the period in which he served as an envoy to the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world, others have revealed that Gold was one of the first two envoys of the newly-elected Likud government to meet with Yasser Arafat in the Gaza Strip in 1996.

From 1997 to 1999, Gold served as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, during which time he also was a member of the Israeli delegation at the Wye River negotiations between Israel, the PLO, and then-US President Bill Clinton.


  1. 2 nat cheiman 02 Mar
    The MRN, MLA and BDS will no doubt open their traps again and spew hatred.
  2. 1 yitzchak 05 Mar
    All that glitters
    is Gold


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