During the Bezalel annual fundraising event, Dayan spoke about the academy and its contributions, and congratulated its representatives. He was followed at the podium Professor Adi Schwartz, the academy’s president.
Schwartz began by describing Bezalel’s development plans, and then turned to political issues, according to Dayan, and said: “Freedom of speech in Israel—like in the US—is under attack and Bezalel is at the forefront of the struggle to protect democracy.”
Consul Dayan interrupted the president, and said that his statement was false. When Schwartz continued in the same political vein, Dayan left the hall in a demonstrative huff.
“I do not have the patience—and I speak diplomatically—for those who slander the State of Israel abroad in order to find favor and raise money,” Dayan said after the incident.
Last May, Science, Technology and Space Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud) barred work from students at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design from being exhibited at an international science conference in Jerusalem after some students mounted a display in solidarity with Arab protesters killed by the IDF at the Gaza border.