Netanyahu offers New York consul post to ‘mother of politically incorrect’ lawmaker

Netanyahu hoped to disperse Justice Minister Yariv Levin’s supporters and associates, who include May, within the party.

By World Israel News Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning to deploy a controversial lawmaker from his Likud party to replace Asaf Zamir as Israel’s consul general in New York, who was ousted after declaring his intentions to “fight” the government’s plan for judicial reform.

Initially, May Golan had been promised a ministerial appointment over the Advancement of Women’s Status, but the Knesset vote on Wednesday was canceled at the last minute.

Netanyahu’s office confirmed on Thursday Golan had been offered the consul general post, citing “her excellent communication skills in English.”

Golan later wrote that she was “flattered” at the consideration of the post, and responding to naysayers, added “I want to assure everyone that if I will be appointed, I will represent 100% the mainstream policies of PM Netanyahu and the Likud party to which I belong.”

Israeli media reports said Netanyahu hoped to disperse Justice Minister Yariv Levin’s supporters and associates, who include May, within the party, over fears that he will not be able to meet all of the Levin’s demands regarding the judicial reform legislation, which has been postponed until late May.

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The statement from Netanyahu’s office denied the reports. “Contrary to the publication, this has nothing to do with Minister Levin. There is no one the Prime Minister values and trusts more [than Levin].”

Several former diplomats have warned against the proposed appointment, saying that the consul general posting is one of the most influential diplomatic postings and Golan, who is vocally right-wing, could cause major damage to relations between U.S. Jews and Israel.

“The Consul General in NYC must be a top notch diplomat,” tweeted former Israeli ambassador to India Daniel Carmon. “No party politics can justify such a nomination.”

Former U.S. ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk wrote that if Golan ends up being consul general “will be seen by the American Jewish community as a sign of utmost disrespect.”

Golan was charged with racism over her campaign to send illegal migrants back to Africa.

She accused former prime minister Naftali Bennett of being under the thumb of “the actual prime minister, [Islamist Raam party head] Mansour Abbas.”

She called herself “the mother of politically incorrect” in an interview with Israel Hayom.

Zamir, who was appointed by then-foreign minister Yair Lapid, last month announced that he was resigning from the consul general post so that he could “fight for Israel’s future,” as he opposed the government’s planned judicial reforms.

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Zamir had already been summoned to Jerusalem the week before for speaking against the reforms at a fundraising event in New York.

After Zamir did not immediately step down, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen fired him.

“I decided to fire him immediately [because] a diplomat who takes a political side cannot represent the State of Israel for even one day. Good luck in the future,” Cohen said at the time.

Golan said she was “completely committed to the unity of the Jewish people, and that is the exact policy that I will follow.”

If appointed, she pledged to “work with the leaders of all the Jewish organizations – as part of the effort to strengthen the great partnership between Israel and the American Jewish communities.”