Highlighting Contradictions

 “Forget Brazil, Hello New York” (Editorial, March 25), highlights Israel’s lack of credibility when it appoints diplomats such as
Dani Dayan — consul general-designee to New York — with his personal views on the
two-state solution that are in stark conflict with the purported policy of
the State of Israel — and its commitments to the United States and other
friends in the international community. Dayan, while emblematic of this
larger problem, comes to New York with an even greater challenge.

Unlike some new Israeli diplomats who have simply taken their new positions
and sought to ignore the contradictions, Dayan’s statements in recent days
place these contradictions front and center. In tweets shortly after his
appointment, Dayan declared that he was looking forward to “an inclusive
dialogue” with “no exclusions.” However, he also recently declared J
Street to be an “un-Jewish” organization that supports “anti-Israel
candidates.”

Progressive Zionists, like Ameinu and J Street, and the vast majority of
American Jews, defend Israel’s Jewish and democratic future by opposing the
occupation and the building of Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands. 
While Ameinu will seek to meet with Dayan to ensure that he fully appreciates
this core American Jewish viewpoint, which is also U.S. policy in the region, 
he will have an uphill battle to overcome doubts that he can put aside his
personal opposition to two states for two peoples – Jewish and Palestinian
– and truly engage with the Jewish and broader American communities without
insults or prejudice.

How Dayan responds will ultimately define his tenure in New York, but also
may finally force the hand of the Netanyahu government to credibly answer the
question of Israel’s position in front of the world on two states, Palestinians and peace.

This article originally appeared in The Jewish Week on April 5th, 2016.

About Gideon Aronoff

Gideon Aronoff is the first Chief Executive Officer of Ameinu. Previously, Aronoff was President and CEO of HIAS, the American Jewish community’s international migration agency, where he oversaw service and advocacy partnerships with over 50 local Jewish communities and global programs in Israel, Africa, Latin America and Europe. Aronoff brings over 25 years of Jewish communal experience — including more than a dozen years in Washington DC — having focused on immigration, refugees, human rights, humanitarian assistance, community relations and government affairs. He also served on the Board of Directors of the National Immigration Forum, the country’s premier immigrant advocacy coalition, and was the chair from 2009 to 2012. He is a member of the Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest New Jersey and the NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking. Aronoff is a graduate of Brandeis University and Cornell Law School. He lives in South Orange, NJ, with his wife, Dr. Jaqueline Rogerio, and his young children Dalia and Solomon.
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