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Monday 22 Jan 2018
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Xpat Interview: Ilan Mor, Former Ambassador Of Israel In Hungary

Xpat Interview: Ilan Mor, Former Ambassador Of Israel In Hungary

Ilan Mor was appointed as the Ambassador of the State of Israel to Hungary in February 2011 and arrived in Budapest in September 2011 to take up his post.

Ambassador Mor has served in a number of positions in the Israeli Diplomatic Service since joining in 1983:
Before his appointment as an Ambassador to Hungary he served as Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Israel Defence Forces (lDF) Planning Branch, Strategic Division from 2OO9 to 2011. Between 2004 and 2009 he served as Minister, Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) at the Embassy of Israel in Berlin, Germany.

From 2OO2 to 2004 he held the post of Director at the Department for the Prevention of the Proliferation of WMD and Terrorism, Strategic Division.

1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?
I arrived in Budapest on the 15th of September, 2011, as the Ambassador of the State of Israel to Hungary. It was my desire to come here and to serve my country as an Ambassador to Hungary. I am very excited to be here.

2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
I have been in the Israeli Foreign Service for 29 years. My diplomatic career took me over 4 continents: Monrovia, Liberia (Africa), Los Angeles, USA (North America), Bonn, Germany (Europe), Beijing – China (Asia), Berlin – Germany and now in Budapest.

3. What surprised you most about Hungary?
I am still wondering about the beauty of this country, since I travel a lot, and about the fact that people are friendly. The Hungarian culture and history is something I really would like to know more about.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?

They should wonder around the streets of this beautiful city, in particular the Jewish Quarter but also the other districts of the city. For example, the 2nd, the 5th, and the 13th District, alongside the Danube during the sunset. They must walk on the Margit Island. One point they must not miss is Jánoshegyi Kilátó for a beautiful view of the city.

5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?
As far as food in Hungary is concerned, I know one thing: everything is good, tasty and full of calories…

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?
Big fresh salad and broccoli...

7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?
Oktatás. Education. Everything starts with it.

8. What do you miss most from home?
My two grown-up children, friends, the beach, the streets of Tel-Aviv, my hometown, and the time to read as many books as possible.

9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?

A teacher or a politician.

10. What's a job you would definitely never want?

Any kind of routine work like 9-5.

11. Where did you spend your last vacation?
No vacation yet.

12. Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?

If I go on vacation, I would like to go to Alaska.

13. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Santana, Pat Metheny, Steely Dan. As far as film is concerned I would say “The Bridge on the River Quai”, “Cinema Paradiso” and “The Great Escape”.

14. What can't you resist?
Tears of a child.

15. Red wine or white?

16. Book or movie?
Both – love books as much as I love movies and TV mini-series.

17. Morning person or night person?
Definitely a night person. A lot of mystery in the darkness of the night. Expect the unexpected.

18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?

Social in-justice and the growing gap in the society between the poor and the rich.

19. Buda or Pest side?
Pest. Love the narrow streets of the city. The history is talking to you from every corner and from every building. It is great to get lost in Pest and to look at the beautiful architecture of the various buildings all over. Just great.

20. What would you say is your personal motto?
“Do what you believe in and say what you believe in” combined with” Be nice to people – it does not cost you a Forint…”