In the midst of his battle with President Obama over the Iran Deal, Israel’s prime minister announced today that he will appoint as the country’s next ambassador to the U.N. a far-right politician who has been outspoken against Obama and who wants to annex the West Bank. Haaretz:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Friday that he will appoint Science, Technology and Space Minister Danny Danon as Israel’s next ambassador to the United Nations due to the UN platform’s current significance.
Netanyahu fired Danon as deputy foreign minister in July 2014 when Danon said that Netanyahu was being too restrained in his attack on Gaza, which was then producing imagery of slaughtered children around the world.
Two years ago, Danon taunted Palestinians over the idea they would ever have enfranchisement or a state. Ben Birnbaum reported in the New Republic:
“Even if there will be a vote, it will be a Facebook state,” he said, stabbing his finger into the air. “They will have a lot of likes in the Facebook, but it will not change the lives of the Israelis, the Jewish pioneers, who live in the hills of Judea and Samaria. [the occupied West Bank]” But Danon saved his harshest words for Barack Obama. “When we see a lack of leadership coming from the White House, that’s what brings leaders in Turkey to attack Israel the way they do,” he thundered. “When we see a lack of leadership coming from the White House, that’s why we see the leader of Iran … continuing to build the nuclear reactors.”
Danon is also an ally of former Texas Governor Rick Perry, one of President Obama’s most outspoken critics.
In 2012 Rick Perry appeared with Danon in New York at a pro-Israel rally designed to get Perry more pro-Israel money.
The real issue is that Danon’s appointment appears to confirm everything Netanyahu’s critics at home and abroad have asserted about his true intentions with respect to the Palestinians. And since those critics are headed by the president of Israel’s main ally — with whom Netanyahu is already in open dispute over the deeply flawed accord with Iran — it is hard to conceive of a more short-sighted, shameful, self-defeating and damaging appointment. Not just for Netanyahu and his government, but for all of Israel.