Designated Consul General in New York Dani Dayan took back on Thursday his comment that referred to the leftist Jewish organization J-Street with the term “un-Jewish."
“Contrary to the headlines, I never called [J Street] ‘un-Jewish’ but only a specific action it took. Nevertheless, it was wrong,” Dayan tweeted.
During an interview with i24News, Dayan said: “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.”
J Street repudiated Dayan’s 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, according to Jewish Insider.
Dayan later acknowledged that his comments had been “somewhat undiplomatic.” On Thursday, however, Dayan maintained that he had just been 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!”
Meanwhile, Yael Patir, the Israel Director at J Street, issued a condemnation of Dayan’s NYC appointment, arguing it sent the wrong message to American Jews. “The Israeli government has once again made a political appointment for a person who’d be suited for anything associated with the settlements, [this time] for a senior diplomatic position in New York, sending a very problematic message to American Jewry.”