Bennett chose Herzog “in light of his rich, years-long experience in the security and diplomatic fields, and his deep familiarity with the strategic challenges Israel is facing, foremost the Iranian nuclear threat.”
Herzog, 69, was a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and at the Jewish People Policy Institute in recent years. He had a long IDF career including as head of strategic planning, and retired a brigadier-general.
He later served as a senior adviser to defense ministers Ehud Barak, Amir Peretz, Shaul Mofaz and Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, including as chief of staff to the defense minister.
Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid agree on Herzog’s nomination, as one of Bennett’s criteria for choosing a new ambassador was for him or her to be someone Lapid would be likely to keep in Washington if the current government stays intact and Lapid becomes prime minister at the end of next year, as scheduled.
Appointing someone viewed as one of Israel’s top security experts and also someone whose career has been apolitical – despite coming from a famous Labor Party family – is “meant to send a message” to Washington, the source in Jerusalem said.
Current Ambassador to the US Gilad Erdan tendered his resignation in June, but is expected to remain Israel’s envoy at the UN.