Considered as one of the pioneers of Israeli diplomacy, Gideon Rafael started his career in 1947, lobbying at the United Nations for a Jewish state. His efforts were rewarded when Israel gained its independence in 1948 and Mr. Rafael helped Moshe Sharett set up the Israeli Foreign Ministry. At the 1949-1950 Lausanne Conference, he was head of the Israeli Delegation. He served as the Ambassador to Belgium and the European Community before being appointed as Permanent Representative to the United Nations in 1967. Mr. Rafael served at that capacity until 1968, when he returned to Jerusalem as Foreign Ministry Director-General. From 1973 to 1977, he served as Ambassador to London before retirement.
Mr. Rafael's diplomatic efforts were instrumental in the founding of Israel, the implementation of Security Council Resolution 242 (1967) (S/RES/242(1967)) and during the 1956 Suez War. In this interview, conducted on 17 April 1991, Mr. Rafael shares these experiences in his diplomatic career, giving insight on Israeli sentiment on these events, as well as reflecting on the relationships between the parties involved.