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NEW YORK - The appointment of the former Israeli consul general in New York as chief executive officer of the American Jewish Congress (AJC) has been postponed, according to a report today's Forward.

The report quotes a statement issued by the AJC on Wednesday, which notes that Civil Service Commissioner Shmuel Hollander is considering filing suit against former consul general Alon Pinkas for allegedly disregarding the required "cooling off period" required of civil servants.

Jewish community activists told Haaretz yesterday that the AJC's contract with Pinkas stated that the appointment was dependent on a check into the issue of the cooling-off period, of which they were aware, and therefore the delay was unnecessary.

One activist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Hollander had acted hastily and carelessly. "Hollander was not aware of the content of the contract between Pinkas and the AJC, and he didn't speak to Pinkas," the activist said.

Jewish organizational leaders in New York voiced displeasure at Pinkas' appointment. Seymour Reich, a past president of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, told the Forward that "the AJC ought to back off." Reich warned the appointment "would hurt efforts to dispel the perception of Israeli control of American Jewish groups. It's wrong. It sets a bad precedent in Israel-Diaspora relations."