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NRW liaison bureau in Israel


Dr. Gil Yaron, Picture by Land NRW, Shani Nahmias.

The new office of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for business, science, education, youth and culture in Israel assumes working functions in January 2020. Dr. Gil Yaron, an expert on Israel, has been recruited to head the NRW office in Tel Aviv as announced by Dr. Mark Speich, State Secretary for Federal and European Affairs and International Affairs, before the Committee for Europe and International Affairs in the NRW State Assembly.

Premier Armin Laschet stated: “No other state maintains such continuous, close and friendly relations with Israel as North Rhine-Westphalia. The new office in Tel Aviv will bundle the numerous activities of our state in Israel, make our state more present on the ground and develop new ideas for cooperation. The office will also become a meeting place for business, education, research and culture. At the same time, the establishment is a clear signal of appreciation to our friends in Israel, because after all it is the first office of North Rhine-Westphalia in another country with such a comprehensive mandate”.

With the Tel Aviv-based branch of the State Chancellery, the state government intends to deepen bilateral relations in all areas of the country’s competence. The office will operate in close cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office and the German Embassy in Tel Aviv.
 The new office is initially housed in a modern co-working space in Tel Aviv, which is also home to numerous start-up companies. The final location of the office is still to be decided.

The new office will promote North Rhine-Westphalia in Israel and make the advantages of North Rhine-Westphalia as a business location visible to Israeli companies and investors. It will cooperate closely with the German-Israeli Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK) in Tel Aviv, which is already active for the state in Israel and will continue its successful activities for North Rhine-Westphalia.

The new head of the Israel office: About the person Dr. Gil Yaron

The office of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in Tel Aviv will be headed by Dr. Gil Yaron, whose CV embodies the close ties between the two countries. Premier Laschet: “With Gil Yaron, we have been able to win a proven expert on the region to head the office. With his articles, books and lectures in both countries, Gil Yaron has contributed to better understanding between Germans and Israelis for over two decades. He is acquainted to the Jewish state, its environment, its people and its media like no one else and has maintained close ties with North Rhine-Westphalia since his childhood. He also has excellent contacts and a large network in Israel.

Gil Yaron was born in Haifa in 1973 as the son of German-born Israelis. His grandfather came from Hoengen near Aachen, his grandmother from Nordhausen. Both left Germany in 1933 after the National Socialists seized power and fled to the Palestinian Mandate. Yaron’s parents emigrated to Düsseldorf shortly after his birth. He grew up there until he graduated from high school. After a short period of study at the renowned Brown University in the USA, Gil Yaron returned to Israel to study medicine at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Until his doctorate in 2006, he also researched and published in the field of molecular biology.

Even before graduating, Gil Yaron was interested in reporting on the Middle East. He studied Arabic and politics in Givat Haviva and at the Hebrew University and wrote for a variety of Hebrew, German and English speaking media, most recently as Israel correspondent for Die Welt.

Background: North Rhine-Westphalia and Israel

North Rhine-Westphalia and Israel traditionally maintain close relations. Numerous school partnerships, youth meetings and scholarship programs for students reflect this close exchange. Teachers, judges, public prosecutors and prospective police officers can take part in training or study trips to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. A partnership links 28 Israeli and North Rhine-Westphalian cities.

In the past, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia has always played a pioneering role in re-establishing ties with Israel. Long before the establishment of formal diplomatic relations.

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