Any questions with Israel’s ambassador to the UK

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Senior students at The Grammar School at Leeds were in for a surprise today when they arrived at school to find an invitation to a breakfast briefing with Israel’s ambassador to the UK, Mark Regev.

Rather than address the students on themes of his own choosing, Mr Regev opted for a Q&A style session. With the audience comprised of students studying politics, active in the Model United Nations, or in the position of faith leaders in school, the questions were wide ranging.

The students were interested in how he became a diplomat and what it takes to succeed in that career. For Mr Regev, from his teenage years he was interested in public policy and international relations, so the job is a perfect fit.

With his diplomatic career having taken him to Hong Kong, Beijing and Washington, he recommends that language skills and intellectual curiosity are crucial to helping you break out of the bubble and connect with the country you are serving in.

Mr Regev described the role as interesting and challenging, saying: “Israel is in the news a lot; my job is to help the British understand my country better, and articulate the position of the country that sent me.” He is better placed than many to perform this function, having been the spokesman for the Israeli prime minister for eight years prior to his move to London.

There was even a cautionary word for students in this era of social media and fake news. He said: “Social media is very important in diplomacy; these days a minister instead of going to the press will post an announcement on Twitter. You need a critical mind when you read things on social media. Be sceptical unless it’s a reputable site like the BBC.”

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