Avi Pazner

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Aviezer "Avi" Pazner (born 9 June 1937) is a retired Israeli diplomat and World Chairman of Keren Hayesod - United Israel Appeal.[1]


Avi Pazner was born in the Free City of Danzig (now Gdańsk). His father was Haim Pazner, a Jewish Agency representative who helped rescue Jews from Nazi-occupied Europe. He immigrated to Israel with his family at the age of 16. Pazner attended Gymnasia Rehavia high school in Jerusalem. In the Israel Defense Forces, he served in the Armored Corps. Pazner graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a degree in political science and economics.[2] Pazner is married and has three children.

Diplomatic career[edit]

Pazner joined the Israeli foreign service in 1965. He is fluent in six languages: Hebrew, French, English, Spanish, Italian, and German. He served as counsellor at the Embassy of Israel in Washington, D.C., headed the Foreign Ministry’s Press Division and was named Ministry spokesman in 1981. In 1986 he was appointed senior advisor to Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. In 1991, he was appointed as Israel’s Ambassador to Italy.[3] He headed the negotiations with the Vatican, which resulted in the establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel. In 1995-1998, he served as Ambassador to France and was decorated by President Chirac as Commandeur of the French Légion d'honneur.[4] Pazner was also the first non-resident Ambassador of Israel to Albania.

In September 1998, Pazner was elected World Chairman of Keren Hayesod. In 2012, Nir Barkat, the Mayor of Jerusalem, appointed him chairman of the Jerusalem International Book Fair.[5]

Published works[edit]

Pazner is the author of The Secrets of a Diplomat, published in French (Editions du Rocher, 2005).