As Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Danny Ayalon developed a strong friendship with President George W. Bush and personally arranged a multibillion-dollar U.S. loan package that allowed the Jewish state to raise foreign funds at low interest rates.
He developed deep contacts with Jewish-Americans and members of Congress.
Mr. Ayalon was one of Israel’s most effective ambassadors when he served in Washington from 2002 to 2006. He retired from the foreign service after ending his diplomatic tour in the United States, and won a seat in the Israeli parliament in 2009 as a member of the Israel Beiteinu party.
The party leader, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, named him his deputy that same year.
“I will continue to work tirelessly until the end of my mandate,” Mr. Ayalon said.
The Israeli press is full of speculation over the reasons Mr. Lieberman dumped Mr. Ayalon, but most analysts agreed that the foreign minister had been growing impatient with his deputy for seeking the limelight in the press.
Mr. Ayalon summoned Mr. Celikkol to the Foreign Ministry to complain about an anti-Semitic Turkish television program that portrayed Israeli secret service agents killing elderly Turkish men and kidnapping a Muslim baby to convert to Judaism.
In the meeting, Mr. Ayalon refused to display the Turkish flag – a normal diplomatic courtesy – and pointed out to reporters that he sat Mr. Celikkol on a low sofa, which was widely seen as a display of Mr. Ayalon’s contempt for the Turkish diplomat.
He later apologized to Mr. Celikkol for the insult.
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James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...
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