Naftalie Lavie, a 55-year-old journalist and Holocaust survivor was approved by the Cabinet yesterday to be Israel’s new Consul General in New York. He will replace Yosef Kedar who has held the post since the summer of 1978.
Lavie was nominated by Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir with the active approval of Premier Menachem Begin. He was a longtime protege of former Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan and was Dayan’s press spokesman during the latter’s tenure as Defense Minister in the former Labor government and as Foreign Minister in the Likud-led coalition under Begin. He continued to serve Shamir in the same capacity after Dayan resigned.
Lavie also served as spokesman for Labor Party leader Shimon Peres when the latter was Defense Minister during the negotiations for interim agreements with Egypt and Syria in 1974-75 in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War. He was Dayan’s spokesman throughout the Israeli-Egyptian peace process although he did not accompany the Foreign Minister to Camp David.
INVOLVED IN NUMEROUS ACTIVITIES
Lavie, who is described as “modern Orthodox” and hawkish in his political views, is the elder brother of Chief Rabbi Yisrael Lau-Lavie of Netanya. As a teenager in Poland during the Holcaust, he and his younger brother remained together in various concentration camps. Their father, a leading rabbi in Poland, and most of their family perished.
Lavie came to Palestine after the war under the auspices of Youth Aliya, studied at a yeshiva and a university and joined Haganah, the underground Jewish defense force. As a youth, he was active in “Aliya Bet”, the clandestine immigration movement, and worked underground in Marseilles and Trieste to bring stateless Jews to Palestine.
He began his journalistic career with the religious newspaper, Shearim, organ of the Poalel Agudat Israel party and later worked for Lemrhav, a newspaper of the Labor-oriented kibbutz movement, now defunct. By the late 1950s he was political correspondent for Haaretz. He is the author of a biography of Dayan published in London.
In New York, Kedar told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he planned to return to Israel this summer but has no definite plans beyond that. He noted that he is not an official of the Foreign Ministry, indicating that he did not expect to serve in another diplomatic post in the near future.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.