Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has nixed his decision to appoint fellow Likud lawmaker May Golan as consul general in New York following a backlash among liberal American Jews.
Netanyahu on Thursday tapped Golan for the position, widely considered Israel’s third-most senior diplomatic position in the United States after the ambassadorships to Washington and the United Nations.
The move drew condemnation from many left-leaning Jews and prompted the U.S. State Department to weigh in on past comments made by the firebrand Golan.
“Broadly, we would condemn such kind of rhetoric and believe that such kind of language is also particularly damaging when it’s amplified in leadership positions,” said State Department spokesman Vedant Patel.
Golan first entered the public eye as a campaigner against African asylum seekers. She is known for her staunchly right-wing ideology and previously designated herself “the mother of politically incorrect.”
She had responded positively to being chosen for the position.
“I am very flattered to be considered for the post of Israel’s consul general in N.Y. 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,” she wrote on Twitter.
“I am completely committed to the unity of the Jewish people, and that is the exact policy that I will follow. If appointed, I will 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,” she added.
Officials in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office concluded that her appointment was no longer feasible.