Ambassador (ret.) Yossi Ben-Aharon emigrated from Egypt to Israel in 1947. He served in the Israel army and is a graduate of Hebrew University in Middle Eastern studies and Arabic.
Between 1956 and 1980 he served in Israel’s Foreign Service and was assigned to Burma, then to Washington D.C. (as Counselor for Political Affairs, in charge of Middle East issues) and finally to New York (as Deputy Consul-General). He rose to the rank of Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Policy Adviser to the then Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir.
When Shamir was elected Prime Minister in 1986, he appointed Yossi Ben-Aharon Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office. In that capacity, he served as Chief of Staff, coordinating the Prime Minister’s work and responsibilities, with special emphasis on national security and foreign relations.
Throughout the years of the American involvement in advancing an Arab-Israel peace process, Yossi Ben-Aharon played a key role in drafting the position papers, the diplomatic correspondence and speeches for the Prime Minister. In addition, he took part in the top-level negotiations, including participation in the Madrid Peace Conference. In that context, he was appointed Head of the Israel Delegation to the negotiations with Syria.
Since his retirement, Yossi Ben-Aharon has done some consulting for government, he writes in Israeli and foreign media and lectures on Israel’s foreign relations and on the peace process. Currently, he is lecturing on Israel and the Middle East at the College of Judea and Samaria in Ariel.