“Cancel culture — no matter toward who — I think is illegitimate and I think it is very violent and you have to be against it no matter where it is,” Zamir 41, told The Post from the Manhattan office of the Israeli Consulate, noting his country had also been a victim of the phenomenon.
“Cancel culture generally is where there is no conversation anymore,” he noted. “Political discourse all over the world has become very shallow and not very deep. It is my job to bring that complexity and to explain the difference between, for example, criticizing Israel or objecting to their right to exist.”
Zamir arrived at his new post last week and expects to be joined soon by his partner Maya Wertheimer, who happens to be a decade younger and granddaughter of Israeli billionaire Stef Wertheimer.
Wertheimer is a sometimes-comical social media star with 427,000 Instagram followers and another 58,000 on TikTok. Zamir makes an appearance from time to time as well — like the time he participated with her in a rendition of the “Two Best Friends in a Room” meme. “The hardest part about moving here is they are not here yet,” he spoke of Wertheimer and their 19-month-old daughter, Asia.
Zamir — a fierce opponent of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and played a role in ousting him — said he wanted to re-engage liberal Jews in the United States in the hope of making Israel issues bipartisan again. He said he’s concerned by rising anti-Semitism within the United States.
Zamir’s office is decorated with reminders of the dangerous reality Israel lives in, including a charred Israeli flag found at Ground Zero and a Hamas rocket casing.
“It is a fact that anti-Semitism is increasing. It is a fact that violent incidents in synagogues are increasing,” he said. “I think it’s being led by people who are true anti-Semites but it is gaining ground through ignorance.”
When it came to engaging Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and The Squad, which had embraced the boycott-Israel movement, he treated them with caution.
“I would have a meeting with anyone who would be willing to talk about Israel and who would be willing to give me the opportunity to tell the story as I see it,” he said.
Zamir will lead a consulate that oversees New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Delaware.
“I love New York. I have been here an endless amount of times. I know the city really well,” he said, adding that he was planning to take advantage of the city’s food and nightlife offerings. He’s also in the process of closing on an apartment downtown.
Upon their landing in New York City Tuesday at 4am he directed his entire security team to an iHop near Union Square to satisfy a carb craving.
“I said we need to make a stop. Don’t judge me,” he laughed.