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New Israeli Envoy at UN in Geneva

Efraim Dubek, a 53-year-old Egyptian-born Israeli, has been named Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, succeeding Ovadia Soffer, recently appointed Ambassador to France.

Dubek, a one-time Labor member of the Knesset, served as Mayor of Beit Shean in Galilee from 1955-63 and was later appointed by then Foreign Minister Gold Meir as Israel’s Ambassador to Chad, He represented the Labor Alignment in the Knesset in 1965 and, following his resignation, became Vice Mayor of Jerusalem in charge of technical affairs.

Dubek subsequently joined the Foreign Ministry. Immediately after Israel and Egypt signed their peace treaty in 1979 and established diplomatic relations, he was sent to Cairo to open the Israeli Embassy there. He served as consul in that Embassy, ranking second to the Israeli Ambassador, Eliahu Ben-Elissar, Dubek was appointed director of the Foreign Ministry’s International Division several months ago. He will take up his Ambassadorial post in Geneva shortly.

Some 400 people attended a farewell party here for Soffer who goes to Paris to replace Meir Rosenne, now Israel’s Ambassador to Washington. The party was sponsored by Sari Rauber, Maariv correspondent in Geneva who is president of the UN Press Association here. One of the guests, Mayor Guy Olivier Segond of Geneva said he heard that the Arab envoys were happy and relieved by Soffer’s imminent departure because ” he was giving them a hard time,”

Soffer was outspoken in his defense of Israel and its policies which came under frequent attack at UN and other forums here. He was known as a diplomat who minced no words. According to the director of the news section of Swiss television, “I never had an Ambassador who was so aware of his country’s needs and each time there was a problem concerning Israel, he would harass me until I let him explain his country’s point of view on TV.”

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