Uri Bar-Ner – Within the line of obligation in diplomacy for the State of Israel

On the primary evening aboard the SS Zion crusing from New York to Haifa in September 1963, Uri Bar-Ner from Haifa met Lynne Meyerson from Lengthy Seaside, California.The 2 voyagers – Uri returning house after graduate college, Lynne coming to discover Israel after college – have traveled by means of life collectively ever since.“We acquired married a yr later, on the situation that we reside in Israel,” says Bar-Ner. “This was as a result of most of my household was killed within the Holocaust and I felt I need to proceed what they began.”Lynne accepted his situation and have become a full associate in Uri’s profession as an Israeli statesman and diplomat. She made a situation, too.“After we acquired married, I advised Uri an important factor is to verify our youngsters are completely bilingual and bi-cultural. And that’s precisely what occurred.”Within the early 1960s, Bar-Ner was lively in shaping MASHAV, Israel’s Company for Worldwide Improvement Cooperation. In 1968, he took his first project abroad, as Israel’s consul in Bombay – 24 years earlier than Israel and India had official diplomatic relations.
He later accepted diplomatic postings in Copenhagen, Washington, DC, New York, Chicago and Ankara.Sarcastically, subsequently, his service to his beloved nation concerned a few years overseas.


“At any time when I used to be outdoors of Israel, it was solely within the line of obligation for the State of Israel. It was a holy job,” says Bar-Ner.“I used to be supposed to return again and train on the Hebrew College of Jerusalem after incomes my grasp’s diploma at Emory College in Atlanta. However I made a decision it was extra vital to place diplomacy into motion.”Now 84, he and Lynne reside in Modi’in, close to their kids and grandchildren.URI AND Lynne Bar-Ner, taken last year at their grandson’s bar mitzvah. (Bar-Ner family)URI AND Lynne Bar-Ner, taken final yr at their grandson’s bar mitzvah. (Bar-Ner household)On November eight, Bar-Ner obtained the Herbert Tenzer Lifetime Achievement Award from the America-Israel Friendship League on the digital Companions for Democracy Awards Celebration co-hosted by his longtime pal Ruby Shamir, government director of AIFL Israel, with AIFL US government director Wayne Firestone.Bar-Ner has been lively in AIFL from the time Tenzer based the group 49 years in the past within the perception that “you will need to have people-to-people relations, not simply authorities relations.”“The AIFL management in each Israel and the US needed to salute a lifetime of service to Israel and the Jewish individuals from ambassador Bar-Ner,” stated AIFL Israel chairman Danny Gillerman and AIFL US president Jonathan Barsade.“From his early management as a US youth camp shaliach [emissary from Israel, in 1960-63 in Hendersonville, North Carolina] to his roles as knowledgeable diplomat, ambassador Bar-Ner has constructed mates and allies for Israel. We’re grateful for his distinctive contributions to AIFL to cap his productive profession.”Bar-Ner began life as Uri Berger in 1935, the yr his dad and mom arrived in Haifa from Poland.“The remainder of their households, besides 4 cousins whom my father delivered to Israel with him from Belgium, had been killed in a demise camp that I visited in 1995 in a diplomatic capability – and solely then realized the magnitude of the calamity,” Bar-Ner relates. “The Poles opened the archives and I noticed the record of about 100 kin who had been killed.”The Haifa through which Bar-Ner grew up was marked by peaceable relations between its 50-50 mixture of Jewish and Arab residents. However after the April 1948 Battle of Haifa, lower than a month earlier than the Battle of Independence started, many Arab residents fled.“It’s vital for each Israeli to know that the Palestinian Arabs weren’t chased out by the Hagana. They left as a result of the Grand Mufti Haj Amin el Husseini advised them to depart. He stated they’d kill all of the Jews after which they’d return and get our properties,” Bar-Ner relates.At Reali Faculty in Haifa, he excelled in teachers and in broad leaping. “Thirty years later, I met a pal from these days who stated it was fantastic to see me nose to nose, as a result of he’d solely ever seen my again,” Bar-Ner says with a smile.After graduating, he served in a Nahal Infantry Unit. Throughout that unsettling time, in 1956, a pal of his fell in battle at Mitla Go through the Sinai Marketing campaign. He says his life was ceaselessly affected by that tragedy and by the demise of his 23-year-old cousin by the hands of the British in 1946.Bar-Ner himself was shot at by Syrian snipers from the Golan Heights whereas working within the vineyards on Mount Sussita above Kibbutz Ein Gev throughout his military service. Luckily, the bullets missed.
It might not be his solely brush with demise.“Members of the PFLP tried to kill me twice in Turkey,” he says, referring to the terrorist group Widespread Entrance for the Liberation of Palestine, infamous for the Black September hijackings in 1970 and the homicide of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes in 1972.
“The Mossad saved me and whisked me again to Israel,” he says.Nonetheless, as Israel’s ambassador to Turkey from 1999 to 2002, Bar-Ner helped forge shut protection relations between the 2 nations. “I used to be concerned on many events the place we bought Phantom F4 planes and Merkava tanks to Turkey.”THE BAR-NERS with dignitaries in Washington, 1973. (Bar-Ner Family)THE BAR-NERS with dignitaries in Washington, 1973. (Bar-Ner Household)LYNNE BAR-NER says she nonetheless suffers post-traumatic stress from risks her household endured. When her husband was deputy chief of mission on the Embassy of Israel in Copenhagen within the early ‘70s, the Bar-Ners had 24-hour guards, and their two little boys wanted a police escort to preschool.Shortly earlier than they left Denmark for Washington in July 1973 – when their daughter was a new child – Israeli army attaché to the US Joe Alon was shot and killed within the driveway of his house in Chevy Chase, Maryland.“From then on, we weren’t allowed to reside in a personal house,” Lynne Bar-Ner says. “We needed to reside in an residence above the third flooring in case terrorists tried to assault.”The sojourn in Washington was the household’s longest. Bar-Ner served from 1973-78 beneath ambassador Simcha Dinitz as director of knowledge, tradition and Jewish affairs and minister of the Embassy of Israel.“I used to be answerable for speaking with Jewish communities all around the United States,” he says. “We hosted many celebrities and dignitaries in our house, amongst them violinist Itzhak Perlman.”Bar-Ner was particularly shut with New York Congressman Jack Kemp. “He used to name me ‘my Jewish rabbi.’”He additionally struck up a friendship with antiwar activist Tom Hayden. Hayden invited Bar-Ner to the set of the 1980 movie 9 to five through which Hayden’s spouse, Jane Fonda, was starring.A number of months later, Hayden and Fonda took their two children to Israel and organized a go to to the Bar-Ner house in Jerusalem’s French Hill neighborhood.“Evidently, certainly one of my children had advised all our neighbors that they had been coming,” Lynne says. “So the neighbors had been all sitting on the garden between our townhouses once they arrived. We had a really good go to for a few hours, and our older son ended up taking [Fonda’s daughter] Vanessa to the Israel Museum.”Wanting again on his lengthy record of diplomatic accomplishments, Bar-Ner displays, “My job was to symbolize the nation and alter detrimental attitudes towards Israel. I by no means seemed for straightforward duties. I helped to develop cultural relations between Israel, Jordan and Egypt, and I developed good relations with the Jewish communities in the US. I raised funds to carry many delegations of youth and cultural administrators to Israel.”One among his proudest accomplishments is elevating the cash to ascertain Schneider Youngsters’s Medical Heart in Petah Tikva, which he nonetheless actively helps.“I met Irving Schneider throughout our time in New York, and in 1990 he agreed to contribute $80 million towards founding the hospital. And I raised an extra $30 million to construct it,” he says, noting that the undertaking was headed by Prof. Haim Doron, then Clalit Well being Companies director-general; and Prof. Yehuda Danon, then director-general of Beilinson Medical Heart.After their closing posting in Turkey, the Bar-Ners spent many glad years in Jerusalem earlier than relocating to Modi’in.“I might have liked to dedicate extra time and efforts to strengthen the State of Israel in each doable means,” says Bar-Ner. “However I don’t miss touring, and my spouse misses it even much less; it was very troublesome for her,” he acknowledges. “If not for Lynne, I couldn’t have achieved any of it. She was a first-class hostess and managed and maintained contacts with the individuals wherever we had been.”Bar-Ner, who wrote a e-book in Hebrew merely titled My Life, says he has three messages for Israelis immediately.“The primary is to maintain the nation sturdy as a result of that is the one means we will save the Jewish individuals. After we are sturdy, no person can assault us. Secondly, we should be a middle to the Jewish neighborhood worldwide. The third vital factor is to keep up wonderful relations with the US for the security and safety of each nations.”