Asaf Zamir has begun his tenure as Israel’s consul general in New York.
“I come with great expectations to work together and to face some of the huge challenges the State of Israel has encountered in the past,” Zamir says in a statement. “I expect to do it with everyone and serve everyone. It is a great honor to be in New York and experience life in the Big Apple, all while serving the State of Israel.”
Zamir, 41, enters the diplomatic arena after over a decade in politics. Most of that time was as the deputy mayor of Tel Aviv. In 2019, he entered national politics, joining Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party and going on to serve as tourism minister. He resigned from the government in protest of conduct by then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. That government fell shortly thereafter and was replaced by the current unity coalition led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.
Lapid appointed Zamir to become the next consul general and he fills a post that has been held by acting consul Israel Nitzan for over a year. Prior to Nitzan, the post was held by former settler leader Dani Dayan, who is now the chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Israel.
Zamir spent several years living in Florida as a child, and speaks fluent English. He is married to actress Maya Wertheimer and she will join Zamir in New York along with their daughter Asia.
“There is no doubt that my goal is to keep Israel as a bipartisan matter and to work with both sides of the aisle,” Zamir says. “We will do that by not only working with local politicians, but by having meaningful conversations with the diverse populations in our region. I am coming from Tel Aviv-Yafo, one of the most diverse cities in Israel, and I was appointed to this position by the most diverse government in Israeli history. It’s only natural for me to work with diverse communities.”