Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, March 28 appointed former Yesha Council Chairman Dani Dayan as the next Israeli consul general in New York.
“This is an important statement to the world,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely. “The State of Israel is blessed with a worthy representative living in the communities of Judea and Samaria who will carry an important message in accordance with the government of Israel, standing behind Dani as a faithful and worthy representative of the country.”
The Yesha Council, which Dayan headed, is an umbrella organization representing the Jewish municipalities in Judea and Samaria.
Dayan’s appointment to the position is significant in light of the recent controversy surrounding his prior nomination to be Israel’s ambassador to Brazil. The appointment faced strong opposition from some officials in Brazil due to Dayan’s residency in Judea and Samaria. Many in the international community oppose Jewish-Israeli residency in Judea and Samaria.
Members of the Yesha Council also expressed their best wishes and praise for their former colleague.
“The Yesha Council congratulates Dani Dayan on the the occasion of his appointment as consul general in New York,” Yesha Council Chairman Yigal Dilmoni told Tazpit Press Service (TPS).
“Dayan is a man of human values, with rich experience in public and international diplomacy. There is no doubt that this is a successful appointment for Prime Minister Netanyahu, and we are confident that Dayan will fill the role in a professional and ethical manner and will faithfully represent and serve the State of Israel, its citizens, and its policies.”
Oded Revivi, senior member of the Yesha Council and mayor of the Judean city of Efrat, also expressed his faith in Dayan’s ability to be an authentic representative of Israel.
“Dayan is a true Israeli statesman who represents all of Israel,” said Revivi. “People from across the political spectrum admire him for his unwavering moral compass and strong character. Dani will make a fine consul general in New York and will continue to represent our nation at the highest level.”
Dayan told TPS that he sees himself as being in a unique position to assume such a task in the United States.
“I believe that I can manage respectful dialogue with all shades of American society,” Dayan told TPS. “I speak the Spanish language ,which will allow me to have direct contact with Hispanics…And just as important, and perhaps most importantly, [I can connect] with all layers of Jewish society in New York and North America.”
Dayan also mentioned that his primary mission as New York consul general will be to help Israel in the public diplomacy arena.
“My main task will be advocacy-oriented,” Dayan told TPS. “I will volunteer in the already existing effort of legislative initiatives against BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel), even at the federal level.”
In a gradually growing trend, a number of states across the U.S. have passed legislation penalizing businesses that work with the BDS movement. Dayan believes that he can bring the trend to New York.
“It is certain that legislation against BDS in the State of New York will be a strategic achievement, and I believe we will achieve it,” Dayan added. “We will not give up at all on presenting the position of the State of Israel and of the Israeli government.”
Jonathan Benedek (TPS)