New Hope’s Dayan: Netanyahu wanted me to blame Reform for Western Wall impasse

New Hope candidate Dani Dayan, the former consul-general of Israel to New York, says he refused an order by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to blame Reform Jewry for the government’s decision to freeze a plan to build an egalitarian prayer plaza at the Western Wall in 2017.

“When the Western Wall deal was frozen, I was instructed by Prime Minister Netanyahu to blame the Reform” movement, said Dayan at a conference last week, according to a statement Sunday. “It wasn’t true and therefore I refused, even at the cost of ending my term as consul-general in New York.

“I told the prime minister that the keys are on the table and if he wants to, let him extend his hand and take them and I will go back to Israel. I couldn’t live with a quiet conscience after blaming the Reform [movement] for the suspension of the Western Wall plan,” says Dayan, whose New Hope party is seeking to replace Netanyahu in Tuesday’s election.

Newly appointed Israeli Consul General in New York Dani Dayan at the opening of a conference discussing issues and ways to fight the boycott Israel movement, at the Jerusalem Convention Center, March 28, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)