Dani Dayan takes back ‘un-Jewish’ J-Street remark

Designated Consul General in New York says he was wrong to make the comment, and that it was misunderstood.

Gil Ronen,

Dani Dayan
Dani Dayan

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.”