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Herzog Ends Tour of Duty As Israel’s UN Ambassador; Returns Home

Chaim Herzog, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations since 1975, has completed his tour of duty and is returning to Israel with his wife, Ora, and their two children. In an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on the eve of his departure, Herzog said that although there were times of frustration and difficulties in the last three years, he views his term in office, on the whole, as “most challenging, interesting and fascinating.”

Herzog said that as a result of developments in the Mideast itself, such as the struggle in Lebanon and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s surprise visit to Jerusalem, Israel’s standing at the UN “is much better now than it was when I arrived here. “He noted that three years ago the Arabs were pressing for the expulsion of Israel, whereas now nobody talks of depriving Israel of its seat in the world organization.

Herzog’s term in office was marked by close ties with the American Jewish community. Many Jewish leaders say they are sorry to see Herzog leave. Almost all the major Jewish organizations in the United States held farewell parties for him. Herzog’s term of office also received special attention from the media here. For the first time the NBC and ABC TV networks devoted special programs to an outgoing Israeli Ambassador. The New York Times and the New York Daily News carried farewell features on Herzog’s return to Israel in addition to holding farewell parties on his behalf.

MAY GET INVOLVED IN POLITICS

Herzog told the JTA last night that he intends to resume his law practice in Israel and, in addition, to write books and articles. He said he has not decided yet if he will get involved in Israeli politics, but added: “I do not exclude the possibility.”

Meanwhile, foreign Minister Moshe Dayan yesterday sent a cable of thanks to Herzog for his service on behalf of Israel at the UN. Dayan, writing on behalf of the government, said in the cable:

” I convey to you the sincere thanks of the Israeli government for the way in which you faced the nations in the service of the State of Israel, Zionism and the Jewish people. Those were difficult years, in our political status in general and in the UN in particular. The entire house of Israel remembers how you stood dignified, and how you performed impressively against the wave of hostility of our enemies.”

Herzog’s successor, Professor Yehuda Blum, a Hebrew University expert on international law, scheduled to arrive here at the end of August. Blum, an Orthodox Jew, was born in Czechoslovakia and came to Israel after he was freed from the Bergen Belsen concentration camp. He studied law at the Hebrew University and received his doctorate in law in England. He is said to be Premier Menachem Begin’s personal choice for the Un post.

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