Naphtali Lau-Lavie was born in 1926 in Cracow, Poland. During the Holocaust he was imprisoned in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps, and was liberated on 11 April 1945. In July he immigrated to Palestine, and then joined the Hagana and fought in the War of Independence in 1948. He pursued academic and talmudic studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and in Petach Tikva. Lavie was a journalist at Ha’aretz, Israel’s leading newspaper, before becoming spokesman at the ministry of defense and special advisor to defense ministers Moshe Dayan (1970-74) and Shimon Peres (1974-77). He subsequently served as spokesman and special advisor to foreign ministers Moshe Dayan and Yitzhak Shamir. He was a member of the Israeli delegation at the peace negotiations with Egypt between 1977 and 1979. In 1981 he became Israeli Ambassador and Consul General in New York.