Dani Dayan laments Israelis’ lack of understanding and unwillingness to engage with liberal Jewish streams

Do read this article in the Times of Israel (see link below).

In Israeli’s political arena, one would have thought that Dani Dayan would align himself with the most right-wing in Israel on every matter – but it just isn’t true.

He was the head of the Yesha Council of settlers before becoming Israel’s Consul General for New York. As it turns out, on the pluralism issue the non-Orthodox have in Dayan a friend.

Dayan himself is not religious, and perhaps that’s why he is open-hearted to the non-Orthodox streams in Israel. But there may be something else as well.

I don’t know what Dayan’s attitudes towards the Reform movement in America were before he arrived in New York. He may already have been a religious pluralist. If so – terrific, but since coming to the US he has been nothing shy of a friend to all the religious streams.

In my own encounters with Mr. Dayan in New York as Chair of ARZA, I found that he couldn’t be more open-hearted towards non-Orthodox Jewry if he tried. His magnanimity is both surprising and refreshing.

What we need now is a Prime Minister to show a measure of courage and stop cow-towing to the ultra-Orthodox political parties on the Kotel issue and Conversion Law, and then on civil marriage and civil divorce, on women’s issues, on the rights of NGOs to operate on behalf of human rights in the state of Israel and the West Bank, and everything that makes for a true democracy that Israel is and ought always to be.

The greatest leaders are those who stand for principle over politics – Dayan is showing himself on the issue of who is a Zionist to be a democrat (with a small “d”).