Danny Danon, Israel’s new ambassador to the United Nations, has been described by Israeli Labor Party lawmaker Erel Margalit as “a right-wing extremist with the diplomatic sensitivity of a pit bull.” Ambassador Danon boasted on his official Facebook page on April 27, 2011 that he was proposing legislation that would have the Israeli government “annex the West Bank and repeal the Oslo Accords.” The Facebook post was deleted sometime on or after August 28, 2015—after Netanyahu had appointed him Israel’s ambassador to the UN—and the link is now dead. The page, however, can still be seen via an archived Google cache.
The original Facebook status read:
I am preparing a bill to annex the West Bank and repeal the Oslo Accords in order to convince the EU to stop a UN vote on Palestinian Statehood. I am also going to suggest to extend our sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and over the highly populated blocs we have in Judea and Samaria, just to start with.
Right-wing Zionists often use the phrase “Judea and Samaria” to refer to the occupied West Bank.
The comments on the Facebook post are joyous, rife with statements like “It’s about time.” One commenter wrote “About time to annex all of Eretz Yisrael and to hell with the erev rav and the rest of the world. We owe them nothing” (by “erev rav,” the commenter likely means secular Jews and/or Jews who do not live in Israel). Another wrote “there is no reason to annex what is already ours.” The West Bank has been under illegal military occupation since 1967, and Israeli colonization of the land via segregated settlement construction violates the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Prime Minister Netanyahu, who appointed Danon in August, was re-elected on the explicit promise that there would never be an independent Palestinian state. Upon winning the March 2015 election, however, Netanyahu reversed his position, and even tried to convince the public he had never actually opposed a two-state solution.
Like Netanyahu, Danon appears to be trying to cover up his hard-line positions. While he can delete past Facebook posts, nevertheless, there is some evidence Danon—who previously served as Deputy Minister of Defense; Minister of Science, Technology, and Space; and a deputy speaker in the Knesset before taking his position at the UN—cannot expunge.
In a May 2011 op-ed in the New York Times, Danon openly called for “Making the Land of Israel Whole,” that is to say annexing occupied Palestinian territory. While bemoaning “the mistake we made in 1967 by failing to annex all of the West Bank,” he insisted that Netanyahu “should annex the Jewish communities of the West Bank.” He attempted to justify such illegal action by pointing to past illegal actions carried out by former Israeli leaders. “Our leaders must seize this opportunity and right a historic wrong by annexing parts of our homeland,” Danon declared.
Ambassador Danon known for constantly trying to outflank Netanyahu on his right. TheNew Republic described him as a politician who is “doing everything he can to push his party—and his country—to the right.”
Danon is no stranger to extreme views. In his 2012 book Israel: The Will to Prevail, he repeatedly claims that God gave the land of historic Palestine to the Jewish people as an “everlasting possession.” In Danon’s view, Israel is blessed by God, whereas the US, Israel’s closest ally, is forsaken.
His disregard for international law is flagrant. Danon told the Times of Israel the “international community can say whatever they want, and we can do whatever we want.” In his book, he defended “preemptive, preventive strikes,” writing “They may not be greeted with enthusiasm or admiration from the international community. So be it. Israel must be willing to make decisions that are unpopular around the globe.”
The fact that that Danon represents Israel on the international stage at the UN demonstrates that he is by no means a fanatical outlier in Israeli politics. Au contraire, theTimes of Israel founding editor David Horovitz lamented that “Danny Danon, dismally, is the true face of Netanyahu’s Israel.”