Shortly after the Tiananmen Square massacre in the summer of 1989, I decided to join Amnesty International. Once a month I’d receive their magazine. I’d always open up at the centrefold.
The centrefold consisted of six cases (prisoners of conscience) that Amnesty International had adopted. I used to write to the governments and embassies of every single one of the cases without exception, month in, month out.
I never received a reply.
Actually that’s not quite true.
The Israeli Embassy in London did reply. It was a very courteous letter, in an A4 envelope with several pages of detail. (I wish I had kept a copy for me scrapbook, I really do.)
I wrote back to the author of the letter, a Boaz Modai. I invited him up to Redcar, where I was living at the time, recommended he visit the Redcar Rock Shop, treat himself to a lemon top ice cream and informed him that there was a synagogue in Middlesbrough, just up the road.
Boaz Modai did not reply.
Last week I google Boaz Modai. (t’s a name that you don’t forget.) Blimey, he has a pedigree, and he’s had a good career. He ended up as Israeli Ambassador to Ireland later in his career.
I still wonder if he ever planned to visit Redcar on his days off, though.
Have a diplomatic day, won’t you!