(JTA) — Israel’s top diplomat based in New York walked out of a gala fundraiser for the Bezalel Academy.
Dani Dayan was outraged by the Jerusalem arts and design school’s president, Adi Stern, saying that freedom of expression is under attack in Israel. Dayan reportedly shouted “That’s not true” before storming out of the Manhattan event on Wednesday night with his guests, according to reports.
“Freedom of expression in Israel — as in the U.S. — is under attack, and Bezalel is at the forefront of the struggle to protect democracy,” Stern said.
After departing, Dayan said, according to reports, “My presence there could have been interpreted as corroborating his outrageous claims.”
Dayan spoke before Stern and praised the school, Haaretz reported.