New Israel Consul General in N.Y. Offers Apology for Calling J Street 'un-Jewish'

'Look forward to continuing to disagree in NY as we have in Israel!' says J Street president in acceptance of apology.

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Dani Dayan at a conference in Jerusalem, February 15, 2016.
Dani Dayan at a conference in Jerusalem, February 15, 2016.Credit: AFP
Jacob Kornbluh, Jewish Insider

This article was originally published on Jewish Insider.

Designated Consul General in New York, Dani Dayan, walked back his initial characterization of J Street as “un-Jewish” in a series of tweets of Thursday.

“Contrary to the headlines, I never called J Street “un-Jewish” but only a specific action it took. Nevertheless, it was wrong,” Dayan tweeted.

As first reported by Jewish Insider, during an interview with i24News’ “FaceOff” program aired on Saturday, Dayan said the following: “I prefer the attitude of AIPAC to that of J Street, that endorses all the anti-Israel candidates – the more anti-Israeli you are, the more you are endorsed by J Street. That’s un-Jewish.”

Israel's new N.Y. envoy Dani Dayan calls J Street 'un-Jewish'Credit: i24

J Street immediately repudiated the comments. “These kinds of slurs impugning our faith should simply be out-of-bounds for an official emissary of the Israeli government,” the group said in a statement. J Street proudly represent the mainstream beliefs of a large segment of pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans Particularly in New York, where Mr. Dayan will be posted, [where] he will find the beliefs of many in the Jewish community more in line with our world view than his.”

Dayan later acknowledged that his comments were “somewhat undiplomatic.” But on Thursday, Dayan maintained that he was just responding to a commentator on the program, who suggested that certain AIPAC attitudes contradict Jewish values. “My claim was actually a JStreet attitude does,” he said. “Mistakenly, along with the gong to end the program, I used the short and undoubtedly wrong form.”

J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami accepted the apology, tweeting, “@dandayan really appreciate this. Have always valued engaging with you. Look forward to continuing to disagree in NY as we have in Israel!”

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