Israel's Noam Okun beat Alex Bogdanovic of Britain 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 on Friday in the opening singles match of their Davis Cup tie.
Okun had little problem rolling over the Briton, who is ranked 122 places above him at No. 148.
He took advantage of Bogdanovic's early nerves, breaking twice in racing to a 5-1 lead, before eventually taking the first set 6-4.
Britain's number four blew his chance to even the match by netting a simple volley to give Okun a 6-5 lead in the second set. The 28-year-old Okun served out for a 2-0 lead and clinched Israel's first point of the tie with a 6-2 win in the third set.
It was Bogdanovic's second consecutive Davis Cup loss to Okun. He asked to be dropped from the team before the Serbia-Montenegro tie in April - that Britain went on to lose - following defeat in Tel Aviv in March 2005.
British number one Andrew Murray faces Andy Ram in the second singles match of the Europe/Africa Group playoff. The winning country avoids a relegation playoff to Group 2 in September.
Britain has never lost to Israel in three meetings in the competition.