Dani Dayan

Dani Dayan appointed the new Yad Vashem chairman

Former Israeli consul-general in New York and Yesha Council head says leading World Holocaust Remembrance Center is 'more than a position, it is a mission and one I take on with awe and reverence'

AFP |
Published: 08.22.21, 15:03
Israel on Sunday approved Dani Dayan as chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, ending a controversy sparked by former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposal to appoint a far-right nationalist.
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  • Netanyahu had proposed in August last year his intention to appoint Effie Eitam as chairman of the iconic Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, which is visited by foreign leaders and hundreds of thousands of tourists annually.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    Dani Dayan
    Dani Dayan
    Dani Dayan
    (Photo: AFP)
    Eitam, respected in Israel for his distinguished military career, led the nationalist religious Mafdal party in the early 2000s, and was known for his rhetoric against Palestinians and Israeli Arabs and calls for the full annexation of the West Bank.
    It triggered outrage among Holocaust experts, who said Eitam's statements about Palestinians and Israeli Arabs ran counter to the values of the revered memorial.
    The primary mission of Yad Vashem is to preserve the memory of Nazi Germany's extermination of six million mostly European Jews. The institution is also a hub for Holocaust research.
    Dayan, 65, who served as Israeli consul-general in New York, was nominated on Sunday, a statement from Yad Vashem read.
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    An interior view of a the empty Hall of Names at the deserted Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem
    An interior view of a the empty Hall of Names at the deserted Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem
    An interior view of the Hall of Names at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem
    (Photo: AFP)
    A member of Justice Minister Gideon Saar's New Hope party, he is also a former director of the Yesha Council, which represents settlers in the West Bank, where he has lived since the 1980s.
    "Leading Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, is more than a position; it is a mission and one I take on with awe and reverence," Dayan said in a statement.
    "On our shoulders rests the responsibility to research and educate, to document and disseminate, to validate fact-based historical truths about the Holocaust and reject all forms of distortion," he added.
    Dayan takes over from Avner Shalev, who had directed the memorial between 1993 and 2020.

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