Israel's New N.Y. Envoy Dani Dayan Calls J Street 'un-Jewish'

Before his appointment became public, former settler leader Dayan slammed liberal advocacy group for 'endorsing all the anti-Israel candidates.'

Dani Dayan at a conference in Jerusalem, February 15, 2016.
AFP

This article was originally published on Jewish Insider. 

Israel's newly appointed Consul General in New York Dani Dayan slammed the Jewish lobby group J Street on Saturday, saying that the group was "un-Jewish."

During an interview with i24News’ “FaceOff” program, conducted before his appointment was made public, the former settler leader 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.”

Dayan later acknowledged that his comments were “somewhat undiplomatic,” though J Street said Tuesday in a statement that it had hoped "he would go further and admit that they were flat-out wrong."

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

J Street said that "these kinds of slurs impugning our faith should simply be out-of-bounds for an official emissary of the Israeli government."

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 also discussed Donald Trump’s speech at AIPAC’s annual policy conference last week.

“Mr. Trump, neither his style nor his substance are my cup of tea. I suppose that if I were to be an American citizen, he wouldn’t be my first choice for president. Maybe not my choice at all,” Dayan told i24News host Tal Shalev.

“Having said that, we do not have the privilege, the prerogative not to relate to him to what he is now: the front-runner of a major political party for the presidency. Israel has to deal with him. Israel has to make sure that if he [becomes president of the U.S.], he will be pro-Israeli.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the appointment of Dayan as Consul General of New York after he was initially tapped to become Israel’s Ambassador to Brazil, but rejected by the Brazilian government.

On Tuesday, J Street expressed “deep concern” of Dayan's appointment, saying that it was "but the latest appointment to a senior diplomatic post of an adamant opponent of the two-state solution, whose posting will serve to inflame opponents of Israel’s policies.”

“Though the Prime Minister of Israel continues to express his concern that Israel does not become a binational state, he is sending as his envoy to New York a man who served for years as chairman of the settlers’ council and who revels in predicting the demise of the two-state solution,” J Steet said in its statement.

Dayan will replace outgoing Ambassador Ido Aharoni, who has served as Israel’s representative in New York since February 2011.

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