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Netanyahu taps May Golan for consul general in New York

She was slated to become a minister in charge of advancing women's rights, but a Knesset vote to approve the move was postponed at the last minute.

Likud Party lawmaker May Golan delivers her maiden speech at the Knesset in Jerusalem, May 14, 2019. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90.
Likud Party lawmaker May Golan delivers her maiden speech at the Knesset in Jerusalem, May 14, 2019. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday tapped fellow Likud Party lawmaker May Golan for the position of consul general in New York.

Golan was slated to become a minister in charge of advancing women’s rights, but a Knesset vote on Wednesday to approve the move was postponed at the last minute.

Golan was expected to accept Netanyahu’s offer.

The post in New York is widely considered Israel’s third-most senior diplomatic position in the United States after the ambassadorships to Washington and the United Nations.

The previous consul general in New York, Asaf Zamir, a member of opposition leader Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid Party, resigned in March, citing opposition to the government’s judicial reform initiative.

A source close to Netanyahu denied on Thursday that his decision to dispatch Golan was partially motivated by a desire to ease pressure on him emanating from a hardline faction in Likud to which she belongs that is led by Justice Minister Yariv Levin, one of the main architects of the judicial reform program.

Golan first entered the public eye as a campaigner against African asylum-seekers and is known for her firebrand rhetoric and staunchly right-wing ideology.

This week, Golan visited New York, touring the United Nations and making a pilgrimage to the Ohel in Queens, N.Y.—the gravesite of the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

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