Married father-of-six Daniel Taub, a 55-year-old Oxford-educated lawyer, served in London from 2011 until last year during which time officials repeatedly raised concerns over security breaches at his home in St John’s Wood, north London. Several sources told the Guardian that Mr Taub returned to Israel after the visits continued.
His name emerged following days of speculation in Israel over the identity of a senior Israeli diplomat who had become embroiled in an alleged scandal.
Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had strongly denied claims that appeared online in Israel on Wednesday relating to allegations of aspects of Mr Taub’s behaviour, insisting it had determined that there had been “no criminal or disciplinary” wrongdoing.
The ministry “expressed its disgust at the publication of untruthful allegations regarding one of the finest members of its foreign service”.
It said in a statement: “The ministry emphasises that following a thorough investigation by the inspector general of the ministry, it was determined that there had been no criminal or disciplinary wrongdoing and that the issue related to a breach of security protocol. The issue has been addressed and concluded.”
No Jewish groups were willing to comment on the allegations on Thursday, preferring to adopt a “wait and see” approach.
The alleged circumstances of Mr Taub’s departure emerged amid controversy over whether he should be appointed as the Israeli foreign affairs ministry’s chief legal counsel – a post for which he is regarded as the leading contender.
Israel’s Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has reportedly backed him for that post.
After more than two decades spent at the heart of negotiations between Israel and Palestine, including the role of deputy legal counsel for his foreign affairs ministry, the Finchley-born diplomat was considered a cool, unflappable candidate for a high-profile foreign posting.
On his arrival in London the Jewish Chronicle called him “an almost copperplate ideal Anglo-Jew”, having attended Menorah Primary School in north London and then Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School in Elstree, Hertfordshire.
His rise through the Anglo-Jewish establishment continued at Oxford University, where the future Conservative leader and Foreign Secretary William Hague was a contemporary with the pair coming into contact through the Oxford Union, prior to completing his studies at Harvard. He gave up his UK citizenship following his emigration to Israel in 1989 and in the space of a few years was considered an authority on humanitarian law, international organisations and counterterrorism.
Mr Taub was involved as an official in both negotiations on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, in almost every signed agreement throughout the 1990s, and a member of Israel’s negotiating team in the Israel-Syrian negotiations in January 2000.
His time in London was considered a resounding success. Announcing his departure last year, the Israeli Embassy said Mr Taub had overseen the improvement of bilateral trade between the countries in addition to the deepening academic, business and cultural ties.
Mr Taub said that it had been an “extraordinary privilege” to represent Israel in the UK “to help deepen the friendship and cooperation.”
Mr Taub, who was only the second native-born Briton to serve as Israel’s ambassador to the UK, had formally completed his four-year term in June last year, but applied to extend his posting for another year and told people he would be staying. Israel had other ideas and will be sending Mark Regev, Mr Netanayhu’s former foreign language spokesman, in his place with his arrival due next month.
Mr Regev is already well-known in the UK after numerous appearances in the media defending Israel’s military action – most notably during Operation Cast Lead, the 2008-9 conflict that resulted in 13 Israeli and at least 1,166 Palestinian deaths.
“Usually when you see me, it’s bad news,” the Australian-born sharp-suited spokesman quipped during one appearance.
Praised by hard-line supporters of Israeli governments, he has been vilified for “defending the indefensible” in numerous high-profile interviews repeatedly calling UN efforts to investigate alleged war crimes by the Israeli army “a kangaroo court”.
“It’s not difficult to be a spokesman when things are stable, things are good”, a British diplomat told the Independent last year following the announcement of his new posting. “What Regev brings is the ability to hold the line when there is bad publicity, as has often been the case, of course, with Israel.”
That experience will be needed once more should evidence emerge to support the allegations surrounding his predecessor’s departure.
The Metropolitan Police are said to be investigating the involvement of at least one minor, after a complaint by a police officer who says he witnessed a trail of male adults and possible minors entering the embassy late at night.
Taub claims that the accusation is vindictive and denies the presence of any children; the visits, he maintains, were “therapeutic”.
Thursday, 04 February 2016
Daniel Taub, the former Israeli ambassador in London, has been named as the subject of an investigation into possible sexual abuse of minors and homosexual affairs that threatened Israel’s national security. The news was broken by the tenacious blogger Richard Silverstein – after Israeli newspapers only reported that a “European ambassador” was under suspicion. Silverstein has been mauled online by defenders of Taub but, as usual, is holding up well and standing by his allegation.
Following Silverstein’s scoop, the Guardian’s Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem picked up on the story, although he declined to report on the exact nature of the allegations. Haaretz and Ynet have also reported on the case, with Haaretz correspondent Amir Oren claiming that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knew about the scandal last summer.
Coming to the end of his four year term in London, the married ambassador reportedly bragged to colleagues that he expected to remain in Britain on a special one -year extension. It appears, though, that he was recalled to Tel Aviv as a direct result of these allegations.
The Israeli foreign ministry has investigated and closed the case, but it now seems to have been re-opened. The primary concern of the Israeli government is that the visitors to the embassy were not registered, and that MI5 appears to have been aware of the arrangements. Ambassadors engaging in extramarital relationships are prime targets for blackmail, which would be of great concern to the Israeli security services. Taub was also inexperienced; his appointment in 2011 was resented by the Israeli diplomatic service, which noted that someone who had never held an ambassadorial role before was getting a very important posting.
This is a controversial situation and it is important not to presume guilt ahead of innocence, but the facts raise concerns and speak to a far wider problem. It is not the first time that an Israeli ambassador has been linked to accusations of child abuse…
Scandal after scandal in both London and Washington have seen reported instances of drug smuggling, kidnapping, abuse of staff and alleged sexual assaults, all of which is quietly hushed up.
This is about people of power abusing their privilege to conduct activities that any ordinary person can clearly see are wrong.
Ambassador Taub’s current difficulties should concern us all, not just his bosses in Tel Aviv.
Daniel Taub to join Israeli philanthropic foundation
Former envoy to UK takes break from foreign ministry to join Yad Hanadiv focused on education and Arab communities
May 31, 2016
Former Israeli Ambassador Daniel Taub is to take a break from the foreign ministry after a quarter of a century to join a leading philanthropic foundation.
The veteran diplomat’s 25 years in the ministry has included a spell as principal deputy legal advisor and playing a role in negotiations with the Palestinians and Syria. He had previously been tipped for the chief legal counsel role in the ministry after returning to Jerusalem from London last year.
But it was announced today that he will take up a role with Yad Hanadiv as director of strategy and planning.
The organisation – which acts on behalf of a number of Rothschild family philanthropic trusts – currently focuses its grant making on education, academic excellence and the Arab community.
It emerged earlier this year Taub was subject to an internal ministry probe over unauthorised visitors to his residence in London , which concluded there had been no “criminal or disciplinary wrongdoing and that the issue related to a breach of security protocol”.
Congratulating him on his appointment, the Foreign Ministry said: “Daniel is an outstanding and valued diplomat and lawyer and we hope to see him playing further roles in Israeli diplomacy in the future.” The ministry said allegations made against Taub in the past had been “thoroughly investigated and dismissed”.
Yad Hanadiv’s website says it is “dedicated to creating resources for advancing Israel as a healthy, vibrant, democratic society, committed to Jewish vales and equal opportunity for the benefit of all inhabitants, carrying forward the philanthropic tradition of the Rothschild family”.
Lord Rothschild discusses cousin’s crucial role in ‘miracle’ Balfour Declaration
Speaking ahead of the 67-word letter’s centenary, Jacob Rothschild describes the historic declaration which paved the way for Israel’s existence
Lord Rothschild being interviewed by ex-ambassador Daniel Taub
The current and fourth Lord Rothschild has described the Balfour Declaration that helped pave the way for the creation of Israel as a “miracle” and revealed new details about his cousin Dorothea’s crucial role.
Speaking ahead of the 67-word letter’s centenary, they are his first ever public comments on the show of support from then-foreign secretary Lord Balfour to the second Lord Rothschild, his eccentric uncle Walter, and were made in a rare TV interview with former Israeli ambassador Daniel Taub as part of the Balfour 100 project.
Jacob Rothschild, 80, head of the family’s banking dynasty, said the declaration of support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine went through five drafts before finally being penned on 2 November 1917, adding: “It was the greatest event in Jewish life for thousands of years, a miracle… It took 3,000 years to get to this.”
The way it was achieved was extraordinary, he said. “It was the most incredible piece of opportunism. You had an impoverished would-be scientist, Chaim Weizmann, who somehow gets to England, meets a few people, including members of my family, seduces them, he has such charm and conviction, he gets to Balfour, and unbelievably, he persuades Lord Balfour, and Lloyd George, the prime minister, and most of the ministers, that this idea of a national home for Jews should be allowed to take place. I mean it’s so, so unlikely.”
The letter “changed the course of history for the Middle East and the Jewish people,” said Taub, who interviewed Rothschild at Waddeston Manor in Buckinghamshire, a country pile bequeathed to the nation by the family in 1957, where the Declaration is kept.
It was written to Walter Rothschild, a naturalist and collector, who was first and foremost interested in ornithology (the study of birds), said Jacob, and a “deeply eccentric man who rode around Tring Park on giant tortoises and whose carriage was pulled by zebras.
Walter only became interested in Zionism in later life, but Rothschild said he had been “deeply committed to Israel since the 1960s and have been there every year since”.
However, he said his family at the time was divided on the idea of Israel, noting that some members “didn’t think it was a good thing that this national home be established there”.
He also revealed for the first time the role of his cousin Dorothy de Rothschild, who acted as a critical go-between while still in her teens. Describing her as “devoted to Israel,” Rothschild said: “What she did, which was crucially important, was to connect Weizmann to the British establishment, and extraordinarily, she told Weizmann how to integrate, how to insert himself into British establishment life, which he learned very quickly.”
Her letters, which are stored at Waddeston, detail her later dealings with a range of Zionist leaders, and her advice on the organisation of the Zionist Conference, and Rothschild said she had a profound effect on him, introducing him to Israel and the family’s philanthropic foundation in 1962.
Arthur James Balfour will, no doubt, be praised effusively by supporters of Israel in the coming weeks for a brief document he signed 100 years ago.
As Britain’s foreign secretary in November 1917, Balfour declared his backing to the Zionist colonization project. Through his declaration, Britain became the imperial sponsor of a Jewish state – euphemistically called a “Jewish national home” – that would be established in Palestine by expelling its indigenous people en masse.
An assurance in that document about protecting Palestinian rights proved worthless. Balfour himself was quite happy to negate that assurance.
In 1919, he argued that Zionist aspirations were “of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land.”
Rather than being marked “with pride,” as Theresa May, the current British prime minister, has promised, the centenary of the Balfour Declaration ought to be a time for sober reflection. One useful exercise would be to examine Balfour’s wider record of violence and racism.
From 1887 to 1891, Balfour headed Britain’s administration in Ireland. On his appointment to that post, Balfour proposed to combine repression and reform.
The repression he advocated should be as “stern” – in his words – as that of Oliver Cromwell, the English leader who invaded Ireland in 1649. Cromwell’s troops are reviled in Ireland for the massacres they carried out in the towns of Wexford and Drogheda.
Siding with the gentry against what he called the “excitable peasantry,” Balfour prioritized repression over reform. When a rent strike was called in 1887, Balfour authorized the use of heavy-handed tactics against alleged agitators.
Three people died after police fired on a political protest in Mitchelstown, County Cork. The incident earned him the nickname of “Bloody Balfour.”
Blessings of civilization?
Balfour penalized dissent. Thousands were jailed under the Irish Crimes Act that he introduced.
John Mandeville, a nationalist campaigner, was one of the first to be imprisoned during Balfour’s stint in Ireland. Mandeville died soon after his release and a coroner’s inquest attributed his death to ill-treatment suffered while in detention.
Balfour tried to smear Mandeville by claiming he had taken part in a “drunken row” before suddenly falling ill. Mandeville, according to some accounts, was actually a teetotaler.
Balfour was a British and a white supremacist. “All the law and all the civilization in Ireland is the work of England,” he once said.
He used similar terms while defending the subjugation of other peoples. In 1893, he spoke in the British parliament of how Cecil Rhodes, an imperial marauder in Southern Africa, was “extending the blessings of civilization.”
While serving as prime minister from 1902 to 1905, Balfour insisted that Europeans must enjoy greater privileges than Black natives in South Africa. “Men are not born equal,” he said in 1904.
Two years later – then in opposition – he said that Black people were “less intellectually and morally capable” than whites.
There are strong reasons to suspect that Balfour was also anti-Semitic. In 1905, he pushed legislation aimed at preventing Jews fleeing persecution in Russia from entering Britain on the grounds they were “undesirable.”
One reason why Balfour may have been in favor of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine was that he disliked having Jews as neighbors. He once described Zionism as a “serious effort to mitigate the age-old miseries created for western civilization by the presence in its midst of a body which is too long regarded as alien and even hostile, but which it was equally unable to expel or absorb.”
Balfour was often callous. He tried to justify the use of Chinese slave labor in South Africa’s gold mines and atrocities committed by British forces in the Sudan. He opposed giving aid to people at risk of famine in India.
Despite his apparent commitment to law and order, Balfour encouraged illegal behavior when it suited him. He was a staunch supporter of militant loyalists who insisted that Ireland’s north-eastern counties should not become independent from Britain.
When the Ulster Volunteer Force managed to smuggle 30,000 rifles from Germany into the north of Ireland, Balfour effectively approved the 1914 gun-running operation by telling the British parliament: “I hold now, and I held 30 years ago that if home rule was forced upon Ulster, Ulster would fight and Ulster would be right.”
It was extraordinary that a former prime minister should voice approval for subversion. Yet that stance did no harm to Balfour’s political career.
Within a few years, he was back in government as foreign secretary – it was in that role that he issued his declaration on Palestine.
The effects of that declaration were swift and far-reaching. Through pressure exerted by Chaim Weizmann (later Israel’s first president) and other senior figures in the Zionist movement, it was enshrined in the League of Nations mandate through which Britain ruled Palestine between the two world wars.
Herbert Samuel, himself a staunch Zionist, introduced a system of racial and religious discrimination when he served as Britain’s first high commissioner for Palestine from 1920 to 1925. Those measures facilitated and financed the acquisition by European settlers of land on which Palestinians had lived and farmed for many generations. Mass evictions ensued: more than 8,700 Palestinians were expelled from villages in Marj Ibn Amer, an area in the Galilee, as they were bought up by Zionist colonizers during the 1920s.
Balfour was unperturbed by the upheaval that he set in motion. Worse, he denied that any problem existed.
In 1927, he wrote “nothing has occurred” that would cause him to question the “wisdom” of the declaration he signed a decade earlier.
The remark says much about Balfour’s hubris. He was prepared to trample on an entire people and to dismiss their grievances as irrelevant.
How a London theater became a BDS battleground
Israel’s UK ambassador and his allies in the British government viewed a 2014 row over the sponsorship of a film festival as a key battle against the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, according to documents released under freedom of information rules.
London’s Tricycle Theatre had agreed to host the UK Jewish Film Festival that summer. The festival was partly funded by the Israeli embassy in London.
Yet with Gaza under a major attack, the venue’s board decided in August that it would not accept Israeli government sponsorship for the event.
After learning of the theater’s decision, Member of Parliament Sajid Javid, then Britain’s culture secretary, acted swiftly to have it overturned.
Amid a media uproar, he publicly described the theater’s decision as “misguided.” Privately, Javid also sought a meeting with Indhu Rubasingham, artistic director at the Tricycle, a detail not reported before now. He appears to have used the meeting to put pressure on the theater.
Javid later boasted that he had “made it absolutely clear” to the theater “what might happen to their funding if they, or if anyone, tries that kind of thing again.”
He appears to have threatened that the Tricycle could lose assistance it receives from the publicly funded Arts Council.
Praise from Israeli ambassador
Daniel Taub, then Israel’s ambassador in London, praised Javid for opposing the theater’s stance. Javid’s intervention “constituted an important statement at a time when calls for cultural boycotts and shutting down cultural ties are regrettably gathering stream,” Taub wrote, in a letter acquired under Britain’s freedom of information rules.
Uri Geller together with the Israeli negotiation team.
From L to R Mr. Daniel Taub, (Foreign Office) Dr. Noam Yifrach, (Magen David Adom) Mr. Aharon Leshno Yaar, (Foreign Office) Ambassador Itzhak Levanon, Deputy, Mr. Tibor Shalev-Schl
Greville Janner and friend Uri Geller
Ambassador Daniel Taub promoter/supporter of Greville Janner and Alan Dershowitz
Dershowitz...at a legal breakfast hosted by the Israeli ambassador, Daniel Taub. Dershowitz was in London to collect an award and his comments were off the record…..
And at a dinner…
Ambassador of Israel Daniel Taub at Winston Churchill Dinner Technion UK
Protesting John Kerry at UMass
explains why activists decided to protest a commencement speaker.
EARLIER THIS year, a group of student activists, including members of Students Against Occupation and the International Socialist Organization, gathered at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) at Boston graduation ceremony to voice their opposition to the university’s choice of commencement speaker, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).
The students aimed to generate dialogue and to educate the university community about our senator’s shameful record of supporting war and occupation–and to raise questions about the UMass administration’s undemocratic and questionable priorities.
The students did not intend to have a disruptive protest. They came to campus with fact sheets about Sen. Kerry and signs that said “Fund Education, Not Occupation” for graduating students to wear or hold during the ceremony. The activists were using the event to further their ongoing transparency campaign embodied in a petition that called for the university to make information about its investments available to the public. The student activists were immediately surrounded by police, silenced and kicked out, under threat of arrest.
Kerry, a Massachusetts senator who is chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has supported and continues to support the occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. These policies have not only destroyed those areas, but also continually drain critical tax revenue away from much needed domestic programs including the funding of public education, educational aid grants, veterans services and job programs.
The administration invited Daniel Taub, the top legal advisor to the Israeli Defense Forces, to speak on campus about what “really” happened in Gaza. They also invited Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard professor and globally notorious Zionist apologist for apartheid, who supports the destruction of Palestinian villages, inhumane torture that violates the Geneva Accords, and the execution of family members of suicide bombers.
Ambassador Taub praised Greville for being a “strategic asset for the state of Israel”. Among other speakers were Mick Davis (chairman of UJIA), Gerald Ronson (founder of CST), Doug Krikler (former Chief Executive of UJIA), Jon Mendelsohn (Chairman of Kinloss), and Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner (Head of Reform Movement, and Lord Janner’s daughter). The Chief Rabbi also sent warm wishes and said that “Greville, throughout your career you have bought a light of hope to the world. We salute you. We admire you. We thank you.”
Uri Geller with Gerald Ronson (vice-pres of NSPCC)
October 18, 2012
Ambassador Daniel Taub has today honoured Lord Janner’s extraordinary and unique contribution to the State of Israel, by hosting a reception at the Residence. This event will be followed by a ceremony in Ma’alot Tarshicha on the 29th of October, at which Israel will honour Lord Janner by naming an early-stage educational centre after him.
Galilee school centre name honours Lord Janner
August 30, 2012
Israel’s ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub, and members of the UJIA recommended the veteran Labour peer, now 84, for the honour …
“[Taub] has proved to be probably the most successful and popular Israeli envoy since Shlomo Argov, who was almost fatally shot (at the MI5 connected Dorchester Hotel) in London in 1982
Good friends together – Jeremy Newmark of the Zionist Jewish Labour Movement, Daniel Taub, Boris Johnson MP and Greville Janner offering candy to children
Daniel Taub was born and raised in the United Kingdom. He attended secondary school at the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School in Elstree, Hertfordshire, and thereafter studied at University College, Oxford, University College, London and Harvard University.
Taub moved to Israel in 1989. He served as a combat medic in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and subsequently as a reserve officer in the IDF’s international law division. Soon after arriving in Israel, Taub worked as speechwriter for President Chaim Herzog. He joined the Israeli Foreign Ministry in 1991.
Taub and his wife Zehava have six children, who performed a song together at a party in honour of Israel’s 64th birthday.
Taub was extensively involved in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, helping negotiate many of the agreements reached between the two sides, and heading the Israeli side of the Culture of Peace track of negotiations, travelling with his Palestinian counterpart to Northern Ireland to learn from the experience there He was also a member of Israel’s negotiation team in the Israel-Syrian negotiations. He headed Israel’s observer delegation to the International Court of Justice hearings on Israel’s security barrier, represented Israel before the UN investigative committee on the Gaza flotilla incident, and negotiated the entry of Israel’s Red Cross society, Magen David Adom, into the International Red Cross Movement, after 70 years of exclusion.
Israeli ambassador was repeatedly warned over London security breaches
Daniel Taub, Israel’s most recent envoy to the UK, returned to Israel after officials raised late-night visits to official home
Thursday 4 February 2016
Israel’s most recent ambassador to the United Kingdom, Daniel Taub, returned home after being repeatedly warned over security breaches at his residence in St John’s Wood in north-west London, it has emerged.
According to several sources, the breaches related to late night visits by individuals to his official home. Israeli officials raised the visits with Taub. He returned to Israel after the visits continued.
Taub, who had applied to stay in London before his departure, was identified after a flurry of speculation in the Israeli media earlier this week over the identity of a senior Israeli diplomat in Europe who had become embroiled in a recent alleged scandal.
Israel’s ministry of foreign affairs, however, strongly denied claims that appeared online on Wednesday relating to allegations of aspects of Taub’s behaviour, insisting it had determined that there had been “no criminal or disciplinary” wrongdoing.
The circumstances of Taub’s departure from London last year have emerged amid controversy over whether he should be appointed as the Israeli foreign affairs ministry’s chief legal counsel – a post for which he is regarded as the leading contender with the reported backing of Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu.
“The British security services asked the ambassador to cease the practice, which was hurting their ability to safeguard him. When it happened again, though, the security services made an official request to the embassy’s security officer.
“They warned that if the violations didn’t stop, they would no longer be able to take responsibility for guarding the ambassador and his residence. The embassy’s security officer relayed a report on the subject to the Shin Bet security service and the foreign ministry in Israel.”
An expert in international law, Taub is regarded as a high flier in the Israeli diplomatic service, having served as legal adviser to Israel’s missions to the UN in New York and Geneva.
In a hand-written note at the end of the letter, Mr Cameron thanked the ambassador for “the many kind things you have said about me…You will be greatly missed.”
Mr Taub is due to end his ambassadorship in the coming weeks before taking up a role dealing with Israel’s international legal challenges – at the International Criminal Court and at the United Nations, and opposing the boycott movement.
Alan Dershowitz and Jeffrey Epstein
…allegations by a 30-year-old woman, named later as Virginia Roberts, that, at the age of 17, she had been forced to have sexual relations with Prince Andrew. The claims were made in a lawsuit against Jeffrey Epstein, one of Dershowitz’s clients.
Roberts had accused Dershowitz of sexual misconduct, too.
‘MOSSAD BLACKMAIL RING’ LINKED TO PRINCE ANDREW?
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