The new US Special Envoy to Syria whose first act of diplomacy was to kick the Syrian embassy and consulates out:
Daniel Rubinstein is a Jewish career diplomat, fluent in Arabic, and referred to as an “Arabist”, which just means that he is deeply interested in, and informed about Arabs, Muslims, and the details of internal Arab affairs.
Rubinstein was working as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the State Department Intelligence and Research bureau before being assigned as special envoy to Syria. This bureau has generally been fairly astute in its analyses, unlike other intelligence departments in the government.
He has worked, most importantly, as the US Consul General in Israel (2009-2012), and as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan from 2005 to 2008, where his main function was to monitor the activities of the Islamist factions there, particularly anything deemed anti-Israeli or anti-American. There are a number of diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks on this.
He was also the Chief of the Civilian Observer Unit in the Multinational Force and Observers in Sinai, Egypt. Their job is to supervise the implementation of the “peace” agreement between Israel and Egypt.
Prior to these diplomatic assignments, he was Director of the Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs in the Department of State from 2004 to 2005.
It is significant that Rubinstein received the “Herbert Salzman Award for Excellence in International Economic Performance”; a State Department award which “recognizes outstanding contributions in advancing U.S. international relations and objectives in the economic field”.