Former Israeli Diplomat Dani Dayan Chosen to Chair Israel’s Holocaust Museum

Courtesy of Consul General of Israel in New York

By Ben Sales

Dani Dayan, Israel’s former consul general to New York and a past leader of Israel’s West Bank settlements, is the choice as the next chair of Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum.

The announcement, reported by The Jerusalem Post, follows a controversy over who would succeed Avner Shalev as the head of the revered Israeli institution. Shalev is retiring after 27 years at the helm.

News of Dayan’s impending appointment by Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton drew praise from some of the same people who opposed Eitam. In his four-year term as a diplomat in New York until last year, Dayan gained a reputation for building bridges and advocating for religious pluralism and minority rights.

“He is a man of broad horizons who was a successful consul general in New York,” Colette Avital, who chairs the umbrella association for Holocaust survivors in Israel and served in the New York consul post in the 1990s, told The Jerusalem Post.

Dayan, who has served on the Yad Vashem Council, is the former chair of the Yesha Council, an umbrella organization for Israeli West Bank settlements. He has lost two bids in recent years for Israeli’s parliament, the Knesset.

Mickey Gitzin, the Israeli director of the New Israel Fund, a progressive organization, said Dayan should not be disqualified because he is a settler.

“Dayan is a political adversary, but a legitimate and proper leader and I wish him well in this important post,” Gitzin told the Post.

The selection is subject to Israeli government approval.


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