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Robert O. Link, Jr., chairman
of Cadwalader, Wickersham &
Taft, and Israeli Consulate
General Alon Pinkas
Photo by Tim Boxer

Welcoming Ambassador
Who Wasn’t Even There

By Nina and Tim Boxer

HE Israeli Ministry of Finance and Economic Mission invited a select group of the Wall Street elite to the well-heeled law offices of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft to welcome Israel’s new representative to the United Nations.

Problem was, Ambassador Dan Gillerman never showed up.

“I want to welcome the new Israeli ambassador who isn’t here,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler quipped.

Consul General Alon Pinkas had a quick-witted explanation: “We are experimenting with cost cutting. One way is to welcome people without them actually being here.”

Robert Link, chairman of the 210-year-old law firm, found Pinkas highly amusing.

Pinkas added that as war in Iraq is “inevitable,” the ambassador was called back to brief Foreign Minister Sylvan Shalom on developments at the UN.

Abby Joseph Cohen (l-r), chair of
investment policy committee at
Goldman Sachs; Gregory A. Markel,
chair of Cadwalader litigation
department; Debra Brown Steinberg,
Cadwalader partner, and Ambassador
Alon Pinkas
Photo by Shahar Azran

And what is Israel’s position on this war, which Pinkas said would come in 30 days?

Arye Mekel, Deputy Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN, answered, “We have 39 reasons to support the war: Scud l, Scud 2, Scud 3, etc.”

Pinkas was quick to amend that position.

“We have 39 reasons not for a war but to see Saddam deposed,” he said. “We cannot wait five or seven years till there is an Iraqi Thomas Jefferson. Trust me, there are no Jeffersons or Hamiltons in the neighborhood.”

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