On Sunday, January 25 – 2015, Amb. Reuven Merhav, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, spoke with JPC members about Auschwitz: 70 Years After.
Ambassador Reuven Merhav, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference), a pro bono position, is also a member of the organization’s delegation that negotiates with the German government on an annual basis.
Amb. Merhav is a former director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Immigrant Absorption. He is a former senior official of Israeli intelligence and security bodies, where he served for over 21 years in Israel as well as in Ethiopia, Kenya and Iran. He later headed the Foreign Ministry missions in Beirut and in Hong Kong.
Amb. Merhav completed his Israeli military service as an N.C.O in an elite paratrooper unit and then worked for a year on a kibbutz in southern Israel. He then was admitted to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and became a graduate of the School of Asian and African Studies.
As director general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs he promoted Israel’s relations with China, and laid the political foundations for Operation Solomon, the airlift that brought 14,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel within 36 hours in 1991. As director general of the ministry for Immigrant Absorption, he devoted much time to the affairs of Ethiopian immigrants. After Amb. Merhav retired from government service, he became a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies and was involved in issues relating to the status of Jerusalem within the context of proposed peace settlements. In that capacity he was an advisor to Prime Minister Ehud Barak before and at the Camp David summit in 2000.
Coming from a family whose roots are from Germany, Amb. Merhav has been active in the Association of Israelis of Central European Origin, which he has headed since 2005.
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