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Netanyahu reportedly pressures controversial politician to become next Israeli NYC consul instead of government minister

MK May Golan reacts during a discussion at the House Committee meeting in the Knesset in Jerusalem, April 25, 2022. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly is working to convince May Golan, a controversial Likud politician, to become Israel’s next consul general in New York rather than a coalition minister. 

The Israeli parliament, the Knesset, was scheduled to vote recently on whether to approve Golan’s appointment as minister for the advancement of women’s status in Israel. However, Netanyahu decided to remove her name from the list of potential candidates. 

Golan, who grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood in southern Tel Aviv with her single mother, has been accused of racism for her activism against illegal immigration to Israel. 

However, Israel’s Channel 12 news says Netanyahu’s motivation for sending Golan to New York is reportedly because of her affiliation with the growing opposition within the Likud party, led by Justice Minister Yariv Levin. Levin has been the driving force behind the government’s controversial judicial reform plan

The position of Israeli consul general in New York is currently vacant, following Asaf Zamir's resignation from the post to protest the Netanyahu government’s judicial reforms. 

While Golan is a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, she also has ties to Jewish Power party leader Itamar Ben Gvir, a controversial figure on the far-right, who has been accused of harboring racism against Arabs. 

Golan was originally scheduled to become Israel’s first-ever minister for the advancement of women’s status. However, women’s activists have blasted Golan as an impediment to gender equality in Israel. 

It would not be the first time that Netanyahu seeks to reduce internal party opposition by convincing opponents to assume posts abroad. Danny Danon, a Likud lawmaker and Netanyahu critic, eventually became Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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