Rafael, Gideon

   Born in Berlin, he left Germany after Adolf Hitler's rise to power and immigrated (see ALIYA) to Palestine in 1934. In 1940, he was sent to Europe by the Hagana to negotiate with the Nazis for the rescue of some 40,000 German Jews, but the negotiations failed. He served with the British army in World War II. Rafael later joined the political department of the Jewish Agency, where he worked in intelligence and directed efforts to recover Jewish property lost in Europe. In 1947, he was a member of the Jewish Agency delegation to the United Nations when the General Assembly voted for the partition of Palestine. He helped to found the Foreign Ministry when Israel became independent. He became an adviser to the Israeli delegation to the United Nations, and from 1953 to 1957, he was in charge of Middle Eastern and United Nations affairs at the Foreign Ministry. Rafael later served in a series of Foreign Ministry positions at home and abroad. After working as director general of the Foreign Ministry from 1968 to 1972, he became ambassador to Great Britain from 1973 to 1978, after which he retired. He died in February 1999 in Jerusalem.
   See also Foreign Policy.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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