Daniel Rubinstein named Syria envoy

A Jewish diplomat, Daniel Rubinstein, has been named the next U.S. special envoy for Syria.

Secretary of State John Kerry said Rubinstein will replace Robert Ford as the diplomat guiding the U.S. response to the Syrian crisis.

Rubinstein served as consul general, the top U.S. official at the Jerusalem consulate, from 2009 to 2012 and directed the State Department’s Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs in 2004-05. According to his biography, he is fluent in Hebrew, Arabic and Portuguese.

“It’s more than fair to say that he is among our government’s foremost experts on the Middle East and has served with distinction in some of our most challenging and high-profile regional missions,” Kerry said in a March 17 statement. — jta