Orli Gil spoke to a large community audience in Springfield, Illinois on June 17, 2010.
Ms. Gil is Israeli Consul General to the Midwest. Her visit was sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Springfield, and her topic was: Israel – The Latest Developments.
Orli Gil’s key points, made during short opening remarks and an extensive Q&A session, included:
- Israel wants direct negotiations with the Palestinians. While the “proximity” talks (indirect negotiations) are proceeding, Israel is disappointed that the Palestinian Authority refuses to engage in direct negotiations;
- Israel revealed a surprising update to the recent Gaza flotilla, which has been little reported, if at all, and underscores the real motivation behind such efforts: three of the six ships contained zero food/humanitarian aid, and instead only carried passengers;
- Israel has agreed to “liberalize the system by which civilian goods enter Gaza and expand the inflow of materials for civilian projects under international supervision,” while at the same time ensuring that Hamas does not import additional military weapons to attack Israel;
- Israel remains concerned about Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons, which is also a threat to Arab countries such as the Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states; and is pleased that the European Union has adopted its own sanctions beyond those approved by the United Nations Security Council.
Consul General Orli Gil arrived in Chicago to assume her post at the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest in late July, 2008.
She is a career diplomat who has served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for twenty-two years. Her previous posts and positions have included:
- 2004-2008 – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem: Division of International Organizations- Director, UN Specialized Organizations (UNESCO, World Health Organization, etc.) as well as other NGOs.
- 1999-2003 – Consul for Academic Affairs for the United States at the Consulate General of Israel in New York, where she was in charge of all activities relating to Israel on college campuses throughout the country.
- 1994-1999 – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem: serving consecutively in the Public Affairs Department; the Bureau of the Director General of the Ministry and in the Palestinian Affairs Division.
- 1990-1993 – Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Israel, Oslo Norway.
- 1986-1990 – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem serving in the North American Division and the Public Affairs Division.
Ms. Gil was born in Rishon L’tsion, Israel. She served in the Israeli Air Force and attended Hebrew University, obtaining a degree in English and Hebrew literature. Consul General Gil is married with three children.