Israel’s new ambassador to the United Nations vowed to introduce a policy of “zero tolerance for the bias and lies” faced by the Jewish state at the international body, as he assumed office this week in New York.
“This means that when someone presents a lie, I will stand up and expose it,” said Danny Danon. “We have answers for those allegations, and we shouldn’t say, ‘Let’s leave it; it’s useless; they will not support us anyway…’ We should be at every committee and fight every resolution.”
Speaking with The Algemeiner in his first interview on the job from his still-bare office just blocks away from the U.N., Danon laid forth his goals, strategies and philosophical approach to handling his new responsibilities.
" ... when someone presents a lie, I will stand up and expose it.”
- Danny Danon, new Israeli UN ambassador
Broadly, Danon said he has three agendas. The first is to use the U.N. as a vehicle through which to share Israel’s technological, medical, agricultural, scientific and other gifts with the world — especially developing nations. The second is to vociferously fight — in the spirit of his ideological mentor, revisionist-Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky — the systemic prejudice against Israel that plagues the U.N. The third is to “go on the attack” to combat attempts to promote the boycott of Israel and incitement against the Jewish state.
The changing of the guard at the U.N. comes at a challenging time for Israel, as daily stabbing and other Palestinian and Israeli-Arab terror attacks are plaguing the country in a weeks-old wave of violence that some fear will spawn a third intifada.
According to Danon, the current round of attacks itself can be sourced to the United Nations podium, from which Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivered a pointedly incendiary speech late last month, in which he accused Israel of a litany of crimes.
“You heard the speech of Abu Mazen [Abbas] at the U.N., and you see the outcome now in the streets of Israel,” he said. “It shows you the meaning of incitement.”
On Wednesday, true to his word, Danon was out of the gate with a direct and evocative message, his first as ambassador, to the U.N. Security Council and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. “Such acts of pitiless slaughter do not occur in a vacuum,” he said. “They are a direct result of Palestinian incitement, deliberately directed to inflame Palestinian children’s minds with hate.”
His next task, he said, will likely be to defend the measures that Israel has taken to stem the tide of violence — some enacted on Wednesday by Prime Minister Netanyahu after an emergency security cabinet meeting — against criticism at the U.N.
He also vowed to strongly oppose the language of moral equivalency often used by U.N. bureaucrats when describing the conflict in Israel.
“When someone says that he calls on all sides to stop the violence, I will fight that,” Danon said. “It’s not all sides. It’s one side who is the aggressor — who’s sending kids to murder other kids. And the other side is protecting itself.”