Photo Credit: Gershon Elinson / Flash 90
Dani Dayan, member of the New Hope political party seen during a visit at "The Lone Oak Tree", a 700-year-old oak tree in Alon Shvut, Gush Etzion on February 28, 2021.

The US State Department is once again meddling in the internal affairs of the Jewish State — this time, to defend Dani Dayan, head of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Center in Jerusalem.

Ellen Germain, Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues at the US State Department, praised Dayan in a lengthy tweet on Saturday night and advocated for the “independence of such institutions around the world” — diplospeak for independence from Israel’s current government.


“The US values the crucial work of @YadVashem & its director’s leadership as we work together on Holocaust education, remembrance, & research. Maintaining the independence of such institutions around the world is key as we face efforts to distort/deny the facts of the Holocaust,” Germain wrote.

However, in the State of Israel, the chairmanship of Yad Vashem is a political post. The appointment is made by the sitting government.

Dayan, 67, was appointed by the Israeli government as the Chairman of Yad Vashem on August 22, 2021. He previously served as Israeli Consul General in New York (2016-2020); prior to that, he served as Chairman of the YESHA Council.

Germain’s statement came in response to reports last Wednesday that Education Minister Yoav Kisch is seeking to replace Dayan with a Likud party member, claiming in a letter that the Yad Vashem management had “acted illegally” and listing a number of charges. Dayan rejected the claims, saying some were unfounded and others were altogether false.

Whether the attempt to replace Dayan is justified or not, the US has no business meddling in the internal affairs of the State of Israel, which the Biden Administration appears to consider a 51st state rather than a sovereign nation.

This is not the first time the Biden Administration has attempted to step into Israel’s internal politics.

On July 24, 2023 White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre released a statement slamming the Knesset’s passage limiting the power of the Supreme Court to strike down cabinet appointments and legislative bills on the basis of what judges consider “reasonable.”

“As a lifelong friend of Israel, President [Joe] Biden has publicly and privately expressed his views that major changes in a democracy to be enduring must have as broad a consensus as possible. It is unfortunate that the vote today took place with the slimmest possible majority,” the statement read.

“We understand talks are ongoing and likely to continue over the coming weeks and months to forge a broader compromise even with the Knesset in recess. The United States will continue to support the efforts of President [Isaac] Herzog and other Israeli leaders as they seek to build a broader consensus through political dialogue.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.