Gilad Erdan, Israel’s fiery UN envoy, to complete his tenure this summer

Erdan’s reasoning for declining the post was ‘due to family considerations,’ with two of his four children set to serve in the IDF in the coming year.

By Mike Wagenheim, JNS

Israel’s envoy to the United Nations will depart his position this summer, according to the prime minister’s office.

Gilad Erdan, whose confrontational nature has rattled U.N. officials and opposing diplomats, especially in a post-Oct. 7 environment, announced that he will depart at the end of his appointed term, which is set to expire at the beginning of July.

Ambassadors may have their terms extended by one year at the discretion of the prime minister.

According to a statement from the prime minister’s office, Erdan was offered an extension, as well as to return to his role as Israeli ambassador to the United States in Washington, D.C., which he held concurrently with his U.N position for a brief time in 2021 before resigning that role at the outset of the short-lived government of then-Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

Erdan chose to decline both options and return to Israel “due to family considerations,” with two of his four children set to serve in the Israel Defense Forces in the coming year.

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The 53-year-old has held several ministerial roles as a member of the Likud Party, and polled near the top of the primaries list for the party in recent election cycles.

The statement on Friday said Erdan “intends to continue harnessing his vast experience and skills to strengthen the State of Israel in the future.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Erdan “for his impressive work and his firm stand in the face of the many challenges” at the United Nations.

“Ambassador Erdan represented Israel with respect, determination and firmness and I thank him for that,” said Netanyahu.

Notably, Erdan was offered the position of ambassador to Washington. The current envoy, Michael Herzog, was appointed by Bennett and stayed on in the government, though ideologically is thought to be mismatched. He is the brother of Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

Michael Herzog’s three-year team is set to expire in November. A JNS source says a fourth-year option traditionally offered to ambassadorial appointments was declined by the Netanyahu government.