Germany’s new ambassador to Israel launches charm offensive

(August 19, 2022 / JNS) It’s hard for an Israeli not to be charmed by Germany’s new Ambassador to Israel Steffen Seibert. In a Twitter post announcing his appointment, the telegenic 62-year-old opened up about his excitement at his new position in a Hebrew he’s picking up at ulpan (Hebrew-language school). He comes across as open, accessible, sincere and confident.

“Shalom, I greet you from the bottom of my heart from the German embassy in Tel Aviv,” he said via video on July 11, showing the ease in front of the camera that comes from two decades as a television journalist. “I’ve only been here for several days, and I already feel it will be a great pleasure and honor to work on behalf of the special friendship between Germany and Israel.

Since commandeering the @GerAmbTLV Twitter handle from his predecessor, Susanne Wasum-Rainer, the German embassy’s Twitter account has become a multilingual celebration of the surprising Israeli-German friendship that has developed since Israel and Germany established diplomatic relations in 1965.

“Fun word I learnt today,” Seibert tweeted on Aug. 11. “Press conference in Hebrew is mesiba itonayim = press party. Doesn’t always feel like one. (But I enjoyed today’s).”

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