From Settler Council to Settler Counsul
Israel has provoked the left with its attempt to find a nice diplomatic post for settler leader Dani Dayan. I interviewed Dayan in 2012 (interview excerpt) at his house in the Maale Shomron settlement — I enjoyed talking to him because he was extremely articulate, and while he espoused strong right wing views on the settlements and the prospects for a two-state solution, his arguments were sophisticated (he invoked game theory, and at one point noted that “that the problem is the search for a solution – not the problem itself”). Dayan led the settler political group Yesha Council for a few years, and he has been an outspoken supporter of settlement expansion and a detractor of most efforts to negotiate a West Bank settlement. Dayan is a former technology executive who sold his company and went into politics. First Israel attempted to name him ambassador to Brazil — and he was rejected. Now Dayan is headed to New York to become counsul general. He just caused a spat for implying that J-Street is not doing a good job of being Jewish. He then issued a quasi-apology, admitted he was being “undiplomatic,” noting that he has been criticized in his own right wing circles for engaging in dialogue with J-Street and similar groups.