Netanyahu taps far-right minister for New York consul post

Apr 20, 2023, 5:22 AM | Updated: 12:14 pm

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has nominated a Cabinet minister known for inflammatory comments and for leading a grassroots campaign against African migrants to the post of consul general in New York, a high-profile job that deals with outreach to American Jews.

May Golan, currently a minister without portfolio in Netanyahu’s government, built her political career on staunch opposition to African migrants in Israel. She calls them “infiltrators” and has portrayed the estimated 40,000 migrants, mostly concentrated in poor neighborhoods of the southern part of the city of Tel Aviv, as threats to security.

After a failed bid to enter parliament with the ultranationalist Jewish Power party in 2013, she joined Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party and was first elected to parliament in 2019.

Netanyahu recently promised Golan the role of the as yet uncreated Ministry for the Status of Women. His office confirmed media reports on Wednesday that he has offered her the consul general post, citing “her excellent explanatory abilities in English.”

In a post on Twitter, Golan said she was honored to be considered for the post and that she is “completely committed to the unity of the Jewish people.”

“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 said.

Israel’s previous consul general, Assaf Zamir, resigned last month in protest over the Netanyahu government’s controversial judicial overhaul plan.

The United States is home to the largest Jewish community outside of Israel, with the single largest community living in the greater New York metropolitan area.

Netanyahu’s government is the most ultranationalist and religious in Israel’s 75-year history. Golan is part of the ultranationalist wing of Netanyahu ‘s Likud and her political positions, including comments disparaging the liberal Reform Jewish movement, are likely to cause friction with American Jews, who are overwhelmingly liberal.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, the largest Jewish movement in the U.S., criticized the appointment, saying Golan’s views are “antithetical” to most of the community.

“She will harm not help Israel’s cause,” he wrote on Twitter.

In addition to being a proponent of the judicial overhaul plan that has divided the country, Golan has also advocated annexation of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, and has long campaigned for the deportation of African migrants.

The Africans, nearly all from long-reclusive Eritrea and war-torn Sudan, say they fled for their lives and face renewed danger if they return. Israel considers the vast majority of the Africans to be job seekers.

In 2014, Golan told the Haaretz newspaper that she avoided restaurants that employed African asylum seekers out of fear of catching diseases.

“If I am racist for wanting to defend my country and for wanting to protect my basic rights and security, then I’m a proud racist,” she said at a rally in south Tel Aviv in 2013.


This image provided by Maxar Technologies, shows Kakhovka dam and station, Ukraine before collapse,...

Associated Press

Zelenskyy visits area flooded by destroyed dam as five reported dead in Russian-occupied city

KHERSON, Ukraine (AP) — Five residents of a Russian-occupied city next to a breached dam have died in massive flooding triggered by the catastrophe, its Kremlin-appointed mayor said Thursday, the first official report of deaths from one of the largest environmental crises since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine more than 15 months ago. Vladimir Leontyev, the […]

4 hours ago

Kim Adams of the SOAR Initiative, a nonprofit that seeks to prevent drug overdoses in Ohio, packs f...

Associated Press

‘Keep them alive’: More states legalize fentanyl test strips to combat surging opioid deaths

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — At Cleveland’s Urban Kutz Barbershop, customers can flip through magazines as they wait, or help themselves to drug screening tests left out in a box on a table with a somber message: “Your drugs could contain fentanyl. Please take free test strips.” Owner Waverly Willis has given out strips for years […]

1 day ago

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks during an event to commemorate Pride Month, in the East Room of t...

Associated Press

Biden invites thousands of LGBTQ+ individuals, singer Betty Who, to Pride Month celebration

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has invited thousands of LGBTQ+ individuals to celebrate Pride Month in a high-profile show of support at a time when the community feels under attack like never before and the White House has little recourse to beat back a flood state-level legislation against them. Biden was announcing new initiatives […]

1 day ago

FILE - Former President Donald Trump greets supporters before speaking at the Westside Conservative...

Associated Press

The Republican presidential field is largely set. Here are takeaways on where the contest stands.

NEW YORK (AP) — After a trio of new announcements this week, the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential field is all but set. A handful of stragglers may jump in later, but as of now there are at least 10 high-profile Republican candidates officially seeking their party’s nomination. And with the announcement phase of the primary […]

1 day ago

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak watches a drone demonstration as he visits the Friendship Techno...

Associated Press

Biden and Sunak to focus on Ukraine and economic security in British PM’s first White House visit

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rishi Sunak for wide-ranging talks on Thursday as the British leader makes his first White House visit as premier. The leaders’ Oval Office talks are expected to cover the war in Ukraine, China, economic security, international cooperation on regulating the growing field of artificial intelligence, and more. Biden and Sunak have already […]

1 day ago

FILE - A sign outside the National Security Administration campus in Fort Meade, Md., is seen June ...

Associated Press

AP-NORC poll finds both Democrats, Republicans skeptical of US spying practices

WASHINGTON (AP) — As it pushes to renew a cornerstone law that authorizes major surveillance programs, the Biden administration faces an American public that’s broadly skeptical of common intelligence practices and of the need to sacrifice civil liberties for security. Congress in the coming months will debate whether to extend Section 702 of the Foreign […]

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

Netanyahu taps far-right minister for New York consul post