NY consul post to be left vacant due to Blue and White indecision – The Jerusalem Post

Posted By on July 25, 2020

Israel's consul-general in New York, Dani Dayan, will complete his four-year term next week and return home to Israel, even though multiple Foreign Ministry sources revealed to The Jerusalem Post that the process of replacing him has not even begun.Three sources confirmed that Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi has not even decided yet whether to appoint a professional diplomat from within the ranks of ministry or an outsider to the key role as the top liaison to the American Jewish leadership, the New York-based media and millions of Jews in five states.The Foreign Ministry's appointments committee will convene next week, but it is the sensitive post as ambassador to Russia that is on the agenda. The committee cannot meet to fill the vacancies in New York, Miami and Ottawa until Ashkenazi makes decisions about what appointments will be political."He is in no hurry," a source close to Ashkenazi who has spoken to him about appointments revealed. "But he will appoint people unquestionably fit for the posts." The coalition agreement gave the Likud the right to appoint the ambassador to the United Nations, United Kingdom, France, Australia and the ambassador in Washington for half the term. Former minister Gilad Erdan will be ambassador to the UN and is set to replace Ron Dermer in Washington in January for 10 months until the post is given to a Blue and White appointee. Settlements Minister Tzipi Hotovely will be ambassador to the UK. Outgoing ambassador to the UN Danny Danon could be sent to Paris or Canberra or come home. The decision has been delayed due to a fight within the World Likud. Blue and White can appoint what remains of the 11 possible political appointments in the Foreign Ministry. One of Blue and White's diplomatic appointments is set to go to Labor, according to an agreement between Labor and Blue and White.But the top post available for Ashkenazi to appoint is in New York. He offered the consul-general post to media strategist Avi Benayahu, who was IDF spokesman when Ashkenazi was IDF chief of staff, as well as one other respected public figure. Both rejected the offer. Benayahu said he did not want to close his company and live far from his granddaughter.A spokesman for Ashkenazi said: "We are currently not dealing with appointments. The minister will deal with all professional appointments necessary and when decided, they will be announced." A spokeswoman for Blue and White said whoever Ashkenazi will select will be a respected professional. Alon Pinkas, a former chief of staff to two foreign ministers who served as consul-general in New York from 2000 to 2004, said the post could be vacant for a month or two, but it should not be abandoned for longer than that."The State of Israel will survive the vacancy during the summer and holidays," Pinkas said. "But if there is a lengthy appointment process and if there is an election and it stays vacant because of political uncertainty, that is a problem. You are leaving the entire engagement with US media, Jewish organization and key politicians to a deputy. If this becomes a prolonged vacancy, it's a big problem."

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NY consul post to be left vacant due to Blue and White indecision - The Jerusalem Post

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