He was born in Tel Aviv in 1951 and upon graduating high school in 1969, he was drafted into the IDF and served as a paratrooper, participating in the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the Lebanese War. During the '70's, he studied Law and Political Science at Tel Aviv University, graduating with a degree in Political Science.
Mr. Ben-Shmuel joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1981 and served in
several capacities, including work in the Information Department, assistant
to the Director of the International Organization Division, and postings in
the Asian Department and the office of the Director General of the Foreign
Ministry. In 1984, he was appointed Consul in Houston, Texas and in 1989
returned to Jerusalem to become Head of the Information Division for North
America at the Foreign Ministry. In 1992, he was appointed Counselor of
Political Affairs at the Embassy of Israel Pretoria, South Africa and also
served as liaison to the Black community, having regular contact with Nelson
Mandella and other officials of the ANC.