NY Consul General to end term, return to Israel

Consul General of New York, Arye Mekel, will finish his three-year term Friday, and return to Israel at the beginning of next week. Mekel, who has served in Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1984, has held a long succession of prominent positions including advisor to Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir from 1985-1986, and Deputy Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations from 2003-2004. Mekel was appointed Consul General in New York in August 2004. Mekel will not be retiring, but is still unsure what his next position will be. Replacing him beginning Friday, will be Assaf Shariv, who has served as a spokesman for Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert.