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The U.N. Building in New York
photo by Rhonda Spivak

Former Israeli Ambassador To the U.N. Danny Danon Speaks About Anti-Israel Bias at the U.N.

by Rhonda Spivak, February 9, 2022

Danny Danon, Israel's former Ambassador to the U.N. spoke about his experiences at the U.N. and about the U.N.'s current anti-Israel bias at a webinar February 9th put on by Honest Reporting Canada. Danon served as Israeli Ambassador for 5 years, beginning in 2015.


Notwithstanding that there is plenty of anti-Israel bias at the U.N., Danon said that he learned that things are not all black and white. In particular he noted that if a UN  vote is held "in secret" then Israel does much better than when a vote is held in the open.  He added that there are countries, including Muslim countries that stand against Israel in public but  behind the scenes quietly support Israel.


Danon said that  one of his biggest achievements at the UN  was in 2016 when he became he first Israeli elected as the chair of the UN's legal committee, a permanent committee which deals with legal matters of international law. Danon obtained 109 out of a possible 193 votes. and the vote was a secret ballot that took place , after a protracted diplomatic struggle,  in which he was opposed by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Palestinians and other groups. Danon said that the fact that he was elected proves "that change is possible"


During his tenure as Ambassador Danon brought over 100 UN Ambassadors to  trips to Poland and Israel. He showed them the gas chambers in Auschwitz, then Hamas terror tunnels in Israel's south and Hezbolah terror tunnels in the north(which were dug right under the nose of U.N. Peacekeepers). Danon stressed that it is important to bring UN Ambassadors to Israel to see first hand the threats Israel faces, as well as the opportunities that exist in the fields of innovation, technology and start up companies. People around the  world care about sustainable development in terms of water, food, and health, areas in which Israel has much to offer. ( Note that prior to becoming UN Ambassador Danone was a member of Knesset for the Likud Party and served as Minister of Science, Technology and Space.)


Danon also spoke about a vote in 2018 in which a majority of UN Member States voted in favour of a General Assembly resolution put forward by the United States, condemning the activities of Hamas in repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and inciting violence, and for constructing tunnels to infiltrate Israel. This was an achievement. However, a procedural vote held before the main vote on the resolution called for the latter to be decided on a two-thirds majority. The resolution unfortunately did not pass by a two-thirds majority and thus was not adopted.


In the webinar, Danon criticized PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas who he said was a peace "rejectionist"  who preferred to make UN speeches against Israel and engage in "political terrorism" against Israel in every forum worldwide instead of seizing on years of historical opportunities to make peace. There are hundreds of anti-Israeli resolutions which have been adopted by the UN General Assembly over the past decade, most at the behest of the Palestinians and Abbas, but they have not resulted in any real achievements for Palestinians on the ground, since Abbas has not been prepared to meet with Israel and negotiate peace.


According to Danon, one of the real obstacles to peace is the Palestinian Authority's incitement against Israel and the Jewish people, which is evidenced by the fact that  Palestinians are taught in school that the State of Israel has no right to exist, and Palestinian teachers demonize Jews. Palestinian children are also  taught to idolize 'martyrs' whose so-called heroic acts are killing innocent people.


In Danon's view, countries who give rote support to Palestinian demands serve to hampers real prospects for resolving the conflict. When the international community tries to impose a solution on Israel, this effort backfires. If Palestinians see that their battles are being fought for them, then why would they  take steps to come to the negotiating table, where they would have to compromise?

Danon said that it was important to work with every Ambassador of each UN member state as in the case of small states, an Ambassador often had a pivotal role in deciding a state's position on a given issue, as smaller countries tended to have smaller foreign affairs departments.
One of the most difficult days for Danon was in Dec 2016, when the White House  helped orchestrate the passage of Resolution 2334, which said that Jewish presence in the Old City of Jerusalem-including the Western Wall-flagrantly violated international law. Danon felt betrayed by the Obama administration when this happened. But  the US moved its embassy to Jerusalem, the US recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and the Abraham Accords have cemented Israel's presence in the region. Danon maintains  Israel must not shy away from speaking about  Israel's rights to the land.
Danon, who was born in 1971, currently serves as the Chairman of the World Likud. 
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.