March 29, 2016 (New York) – Ameinu is deeply disheartened to learn that Dani Dayan, Israel’s newly designated Consul-General in New York, recently declared J Street to be an “un-Jewish” organization and a group that supports “anti-Israel candidates.” We took Mr. Dayan at his word when, after his recent appointment, he tweeted that he was looking forward to “an inclusive dialogue” with “no exclusions.” But his grossly dismissive viewpoint on progressive Jews is in complete contradiction to this promise.
Progressive Zionists and supporters of Israel, like Ameinu and J Street, represent the vast majority of American Jews who strive to defend Israel’s Jewish and democratic identity by opposing its occupation of the West Bank and the movement to build Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands. For us, there can be no more Jewish act than to struggle to ensure Israel’s future.
Mr. Dayan 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. But, despite this inauspicious beginning, Ameinu expects Mr. Dayan to foster a full and open dialogue with all groups within the New York Jewish community and looks forward to sharing our perspective on the issues with him when he begins his duties in New York.