The new Israeli ambassador to the United Nations believes that Israel has God on its side but not the United States. In fact, U.S. policy has cost Israel “thousands of young lives.”
The appointment of the rightwing Israeli politician Danny Danon as ambassador is widely seen as an expression of contempt for diplomacy on the part of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a specific rebuke of President Obama, because Danon argues that Israel should annex the West Bank and force Palestinians to become citizens of Jordan.
But Danon’s beliefs go beyond rightwing political dictums to a religious understanding of Israel’s best friends. In his 2012 book, Israel: The Will to Prevail, Danon repeatedly quotes God, saying that God gave the land of Canaan to the Jews as an “everlasting possession” and God even went took the trouble to renname the land “Israel.”
He also states that Israel has only been hurt when it responded to pressure from the United States: Israel has served itself best by undertaking preemptive attacks, against Egypt and Iraq, rather than accepting American counsel to hold back– a view that applies to Iran as well. That country is similar to Nazi Germany and therefore must be attacked. Danon wrote:
“Compare the period of Nazi Germany to what is happening now in Iran and you will find many similarities, from a messianic leader to national unification via hatred and propaganda. The lack of firm action and the dialogue of the international community are very similar to those in Europe before the Second World War. There isn’t time to wait and see what the Iran scenario will turn out to be.”
What follows are passages from the book in which Danon repeatedly quotes God’s promises and in which he expresses contempt for American counsel for Israel, including the charge that the U.S. cost Israel “thousands” of young lives in 1973.
The Jewish people base their claim of the Land of Israel on a few basic premises aside from the fact that the territory was captured in defensive wars: (1) God promised the land to the patriarch Abraham…
Open the Bible to nearly any page and …. You will see that in every description of the place there is a connection of Jews to the land…
Essential to even a basic understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures is recognition of the connection between a specific area of land and a specific people in covenant with God. In the Bible, God gave Abraham, the first patriarch of Israel, the land of Canaan, renamed “Israel” by God, as an everlasting possession….
The patriarch Abraham was told by God to leave his native land and his father’s house for a land that God would show him. God promised to make of him a great nation, to bless him, make his name great, bless Those who blessed him, and curse those who cursed him…. Upon entering the land, God told Abraham that it would be for him and his descendants as a pledge: “Unto thy seed will I give this land”…
Note that the term Palestine is rarely used in the Old Testament….
God told Moses to bring the people out of Egypt and return them to their land. During the 40 years it took to reach their destination, God gave the people of Israel the Torah and the Tabernacle, both with an eye on the upcoming conquest of The Land….
For the next almost two thousand years, Jews everywhere kept an intimate relationship with their land. Three times daily in prayer and every time bread was broken, the Jews would remember their land and beseech God to return them to it…
The Jewish people’s claim to Israel is older and stronger than any other people’s in the history of the world.
Now here are passages in which Danon states that the American policy toward Israel only hurt Israel. The pattern began during the Holocaust:
The very people in whom the Jews had the most faith—Americans–essentially abandoned the Jews in Europe during the Holocaust.
It continued in the Eisenhower administration, which threatened “to outlaw American Jewish organizations that aided Israel.”
Danon even implies that the United States should have sent troops to Israel to defend it in 1967, but didn’t have the will. Before the ’67 war, he writes, “the United States refused to support Israel’s efforts to defend herself…. The United States didn’t have the stomach for involvement with another war on an entirely different front [in Vietnam]. Instead of sending aid or troops, it tried very hard to find diplomatic solutions to the problem.”
The U.S. again failed Israel in the Yom Kippur war of 1973, an episode that “exposes the deadly effects of too much U.S. interference.”
Instead of engaging in a preemptive attack against the Arab nations that were gearing up once again at the borders, Israeli leadership succumbed to U.S. pressure, ultimately losing thousands of young lives in a surprise attack by Egypt and Syria….
Had we not been so worried about what [Secretary of State Henry] Kissinger and President Nixon thought, and called the reserves a day before Yom Kippur, there would have been troops at the border that could have protected citizens and defended Israel…
As a result, 2,222 Israelis were killed…
I can only wonder how many lives would have been saved had Prime Minister [Golda] Meir massed troops for the surprise attack and told Kissinger, I put the safety of my people before your ideas.
Later American pressure stopped Israel from destroying the Egyptian Third Army in the Sinai.
Because of U.S. pressure, Israel was not able to pursue the fruits of war to her advantage.
Israel did not double down on the Third Army and by capitulating to Kissinger’s demand lost an opportunity to show… that we could dominate even when taken by surprise….
Again the U.S. failed Israeli in 1981. America knew that Iraq was reaching “nuclear capability and would exploit the ability to influence or destroy Israel.
Despite the American consensus, America refused to act, perhaps because it did not truly grasp the danger, or, more realistically, because it did not want to upset Iraq.
Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin insisted that he would “not be the man in whose time there will be a second Holocaust” and ordered a strike on the Iraqi nuclear facility at Osirak.
Danon offers a rationale for preemptive strikes by Israel.
Preemptive, preventive strikes are risky for many reasons…. 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.
Danon is now setting out on that path of unpopularity. In that book he describes the peace process as insane: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
The one-state reality is here. Even the Washington Post is acknowledging as much. What do Americans (and liberal Zionists) have to say about giving $4 billion a year to a country where half the people can’t vote, because of their ethnicity?