Monday, March 28, 2016

Ex-Settler Leader Dani Dayan Named Israeli Consul General in New York


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JERUSALEM — Former settler leader Dani Dayan has been appointed Consul General in New York, following a months-long standoff over his initial appointment as ambassador to Brazil.

The decision was announced in a terse statement from the Prime Minister’s Office issued Monday morning.

“Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to appoint Danny Dayan as Consul General in New York. He will replace Foreign Ministry career official Ido Aharoni, who is completing his term,” read the entire statement. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also holds the Foreign Minister portfolio.

Netanyahu tapped Dayan in August 2015 to serve as envoy to Latin America’s largest nation, but the Brazilian government remained silent on the choice to signal an official rejection of Dayan’s credentials because of his settler past.

Dayan, 59, a native of Argentina, led the Yesha Council, a group representing Israel’s West Bank settlements, for six years. He currently lives in the West Bank settlement of Maale Shomron.

“Those who did not want me in Brasilia, capital of Brazil, will get me in New York, the capital of the world,” Dayan told Army Radio Monday morning. He also said the New York position was one he prefers over Brazil.

“I believe I can implement an Israeli public diplomacy revolution in North America, whose beating heart is New York,” Dayan said in a statement. “I will be sure to conduct comprehensive and respectful dialogue with all segments of American Jewry — Orthodox and Reform, liberals and conservatives, and with supporters of both (U.S. political) parties, all while representing the positions of the State of Israel faithfully and devotedly.”

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