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Netanyahu didn’t go to Mandela memorial because he needed ‘100s’ of Israeli officers to ‘protect him’ — Danon

Israel/Palestine
on 33 Comments

Yesterday Danny Danon, the deputy defense minister of Israel, said that Prime Minister Netanyahu didn’t attend the Mandela memorial because he would have needed “hundreds” of security personnel to “protect him.”

When WNYC’s Brian Lehrer asked Danon why Netanyahu did not attend the event, and cited the reported cost as the reason, Danon answered:

It wasn’t only a budget issue… There were also security issues. Sending the Israeli prime minister to the event would have required a lot of security measures, and that was one of the decisions that The Prime Minister decided not to take with him hundreds of people to protect him.

Pressed by Lehrer, Danon, who is in Netanyahu’s Likud Party, said that it was a “mistake” for Israel not to send Netanyahu or President Shimon Peres.

Danon also said that Israel will be in the West Bank “forever,” and John Kerry’s demands that Israel leave the Jordan Valley eventually are unrealistic.

“I do respect his ambitions and stamina, coming to the Middle East so many times,” Danon said. But it is wrong to believe that Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians “will be finished” by May 2014. There are too many “tough players,” on the ground.

We look at what happened in Gaza. We cannot allow the same to happen in Judea and Samaria…. I’m against the presence of Palestinians in the cross border [area] with Jordan. Can you imagine Al Qaeda forces at the border with Canada or Mexico? That’s something we can’t allow. Maybe it looks nice when you come from Washington. You say I have an agreement. But we will stay there forever. We need to make sure that the security arrangements are in the hands of Israelis.

Danon said Israel cannot accept international troops or Palestinian troops in the Jordan valley.

And after Danon pushed for further sanctions on Iran, Lehrer said, “Israel is widely believed to have nuclear weapons. Why shouldn’t the world consider Israel another rogue state, like Iran?”

Danon said that Israel is different from Middle Eastern countries, it’s a European country that doesn’t threaten to annihilate its neighbors.

Lehrer went on, “Israel has also been criticized for doing things in security interest, but that go beyond the pale, in Lebanon and elsewhere. People don’t necessarily trust Israel to be a nuclear power. How can Israel continue to be an undeclared nuclear power?”

Good questions. Danon said that Israel is the “only stable state in the region.”

Bloomberg with Danny Danon

Mayor Bloomberg with Danny Danon at Israel parade last June

Lehrer did not ask Danon about his description of the West Bank as “Judea and Samaria,” indicating that it must stay in Jewish hands. Or about other extremist statements he’s made. Some have described Danon as a fascist for saying that Palestinians belong in Jordan. And he has been accused of racist incitement for calling African immigrants a “state of infiltrators” in Israel.

 

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About Philip Weiss

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33 Responses

  1. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    December 11, 2013, 12:25 pm

    “Danon also said that Israel will be in the West Bank “forever,” ”

    Meh. And Danon’s predecessors-in-bigotry-and-fascism claimed their Reich would last a thousand years.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      December 11, 2013, 1:29 pm

      Good point.

      Still, it’s refreshing to hear people like Danon. Why?
      Because they are honest with you about their racist in a way that “liberal” Zionists are not who are constantly trying to weasel their true ideology under the guise of rhetorical flourish. The “liberal” Zionists still get exposed as time goes on, but it saves everyone a lot of time by having a guy like Lieberman or Danon or Bennett be the face of Israel, after all, they represent the majority of Jewish voters.

      • Krauss
        Krauss
        December 11, 2013, 1:32 pm

        P.S.

        Is it just me or does Danon’s voice quite similar to Zeh Terminator.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        December 12, 2013, 4:10 pm

        Krauss, what would “liberal Nazism” have been like in Poland?

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      December 11, 2013, 4:13 pm

      So Danon admits that Bibi has been
      lying to the world that he ever supported a 2ss.

  2. justicewillprevail
    justicewillprevail
    December 11, 2013, 12:40 pm

    He didn’t ask the obvious question as to why an Israeli leader needs so much protection from ordinary people in SA – perhaps it had more to do with the enormous embarrassment and humiliation Israel would have received had they attempted to honour someone so opposed to racism like theirs. On the subject of Palestine Danon just threw Kerry under the bus – why bother making the pretence of peace talks when they so outspokenly oppose everything that would entail a settlement? Kerry should stop making a fool of himself and pretending that there is anything to talk to such zealots and ideologues about. Time for international arbitration.

    • German Lefty
      German Lefty
      December 11, 2013, 12:48 pm

      it had more to do with the enormous embarrassment and humiliation Israel would have received had they attempted to honour someone so opposed to racism like theirs.

      Exactly! It would be weird if the leader of an apartheid state attended an anti-apartheid event.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        December 11, 2013, 1:08 pm

        It would be weird if the leader of an apartheid state attended an anti-apartheid event.

        The world’s a weird place. I’m sure it could have come to terms with Netanyahu or Peres at Mandela’s funeral (along with dozens of other hypocritical leaders, no doubt).

        The real problem, was a domestic Israeli one. The ANC was/is “against us”, Mandela was against us, SA today is against us (Durban, academic boycott, labelling settlemnt goods, etc.). Hobnobbing with those “anti-Semites” (and maybe a couple of diplomatic “ambushes” as well) would not have been healthy for Netanyahu, his coalition or his party. Peres would have loved to go (a VIP photo-op!), I’m sure, but his presence was also best avoided from Netanyahu’s perspective. Preventing Peres from going might have been behind the otherwise ridiculous financial argument against going – if the country can’t afford to send the pm, it can’t afford to send the president either. So what if we look like idiots? At least we’re proud, Jewish idiots who don’t go kissing up to anti-Semites!

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        December 11, 2013, 1:18 pm

        Remarks with the ring of truth!

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        December 11, 2013, 1:33 pm

        The real problem, was a domestic Israeli one. Hobnobbing with those “anti-Semites” (and maybe a couple of diplomatic “ambushes” as well) would not have been healthy for Netanyahu, his coalition or his party.

        Oh, that sounds interesting. Attending an anti-apartheid event in South Africa would harm his reputation among voters. I hadn’t thought of that. Perhaps because I tend to give Israeli voters the benefit of the doubt.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        December 12, 2013, 6:42 am

        When Lehrer pushed him on the issue, by pointing out that many state leaders, such as Obama, had huge security forces at the memorial service, Danon admitted it was a mistake for Bibi not to attend since Mandela was held in such high esteem by the world.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        December 12, 2013, 6:54 am

        When Lehrer pushed him … Danon admitted

        So it wasn’t the money and it wasn’t the security. So what was it? Fear of flying? Good suit at the cleaners? Important Beitar game?

  3. German Lefty
    German Lefty
    December 11, 2013, 12:44 pm

    OT: I just made a (modest) donation via PayPal. This “Network for Good” wanted to know my phone number. After I typed it, I got the message: “Please enter your phone number in the format xxx-xxx-xxxx” However, German phone numbers are not in that format, have varying lengths, and always begin with a zero. Therefore, I had to enter a random number in the predefined format in order to get my donation through. It would be nice if you could fix that problem.

    • bintbiba
      bintbiba
      December 11, 2013, 5:53 pm

      Same here… I couldn’t get my phone number accepted by Paypal . I don’t remember
      how I got around that problem and I finally got my small donation accepted.

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        December 13, 2013, 6:02 am

        @ bintbiba
        Good to know that I am not the only one with that problem. It looks like “Network for Good” doesn’t expect foreign donations. I wonder why. The conflict is an international problem with lots of complicit countries.

  4. Bumblebye
    Bumblebye
    December 11, 2013, 12:47 pm

    “Danon said that Israel is different from Middle Eastern countries, it’s a European country that doesn’t threaten to annihilate its neighbors.”
    Undoubtedly said with a straight face while Israel continues to ensure the annihilation of Palestine.

    • Marco
      Marco
      December 11, 2013, 2:58 pm

      When Israelis make claims like this – that their country is European – I can never take them seriously.

      Is Israel European? Does that mean they would be interested in joining the E.U. perhaps? Yet we know they would never be willing to adopt the policy of open borders without passport controls that exists for most E.U. member states.

      Is Israel as welcoming of *European* immigrants (not to mention non-European immigants) as countries from the continent are? Not only is it not welcome, it has a closed door policy for everyone who isn’t Jewish and an open door for everyone who is.

      Israel will never be part of Europe or any other region for that matter. By defining itself as the Jewish state and by occupying the land of the Palestinians, it will always stand alone. But I have no doubt that Zionists will continue to tell charming lies such as the claim that their country is European. If Israel is still around when China has become the world’s superpower, I imagine that they might just as easily claim that their country is part of Asia.

      • justicewillprevail
        justicewillprevail
        December 12, 2013, 5:58 am

        Yes, every time I read some Israeli telling us that they are European, I experience some cognitive dissonance. What fantasy are they living in? Have they ever looked at a map, or read any history of the region at all? (What era of Europeanism do they think they represent – the 19th Century?) It does however reveal quite unambiguously the colonial mentality they have absorbed. Like the British in India who were more British than the Brits at home, Israelis like him have constructed an expatriate identity to conceal the reality as well as awarding themselves inherent superiority over the ‘natives’. They couldn’t say more clearly that they are colonialists and are occupying a foreign land. But unlike the Brits abroad, they won’t be welcome back in their fantasy homeland.

  5. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    December 11, 2013, 2:06 pm

    “I’m against the presence of Palestinians in the cross border [area] with Jordan. Can you imagine Al Qaeda forces at the border with Canada or Mexico?”

    And here you see the state’s official ideology on display: Danon is saying that every Palestinian is a terrorist.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      December 11, 2013, 7:42 pm

      There certainly should be someone policing the border between Canada and Mexico.

  6. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    December 11, 2013, 3:44 pm

    So Netanyahu would have needed more security than other leaders?

    We all know why Netanyahu did not attend. The head of the apartheid government of Israel Netanyahu attending the memorial of Mandela who put his lift on the line to take down apartheid would have been hard to miss for the world and the press.

    The Israeli lobby in our congress still trying to take us into a military confrontation with Iran.
    http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20131211/kerry-congress-spar-over-iran-nuclear-deal

    Important read up over at Going to Tehran
    http://goingtotehran.com/
    Ten years ago Iran offered to resolve its differences with the United States over nuclear programs, along with all other issues. The Bush administration rejected the offer angrily and reprimanded the Swiss diplomat who conveyed it.

    The European Union and Iran then sought an arrangement under which Iran would suspend uranium enrichment while the EU would provide assurances that the U.S. would not attack. As Selig Harrison reported in the Financial Times, “the EU, held back by the U.S. … refused to discuss security issues,” and the effort died.

    In 2010, Iran accepted a proposal by Turkey and Brazil to ship its enriched uranium to Turkey for storage. In return, the West would provide isotopes for Iran’s medical research reactors. President Obama furiously denounced Brazil and Turkey for breaking ranks, and quickly imposed harsher sanctions. Irritated, Brazil released a letter from Obama in which he had proposed this arrangement, presumably assuming that Iran would reject it. The incident quickly disappeared from view.

    Also in 2010, the NPT members called for an international conference to carry forward a long-standing Arab initiative to establish a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the region, to be held in Helsinki in December 2012. Israel refused to attend. Iran agreed to do so, unconditionally.

    The U.S. then announced that the conference was canceled, reiterating Israel’s objections. The Arab states, the European Parliament and Russia called for a rapid reconvening of the conference, while the U.N. General Assembly voted 174-6 to call on Israel to join the NPT and open its facilities to inspection. Voting “no” were the United States, Israel, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau—a result that suggests another possible U.S. concession today.

  7. eileenfleming
    eileenfleming
    December 11, 2013, 9:26 pm

    View Israel’s Nuclear Dimona at Mordechai Vanunu’s YT Channel:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nSOlG6Wpr8

    Catch up on Israel’s Nuclear Whistle-blower’s Christmas Day Appeal for freedom from ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’
    http://www.eileenfleming.org/index.php/eileens-blog/entry/mordechai-vanunus-upcoming-appeal-to-

  8. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    December 11, 2013, 9:39 pm

    RE: Lehrer did not ask Danon about his description of the West Bank as ‘Judea and Samaria’, indicating that it must stay in Jewish hands. Or about other extremist statements he’s made. Some have described Danon as a fascist for saying that Palestinians belong in Jordan.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Most likely, Lerner knew better than to ask!

    SEE: “Watching as Israel’s Election Approaches”, By Jay Michaelson, The Forward, 1/04/12

    [EXCERPTS] . . . First, there’s the Likud’s new list of parliamentary candidates. This list has purged everyone in Likud who had been interested in some form of negotiated peace, as well as its more moderate intellectual leadership — Dan Meridor, Benny Begin, Micky Eitan and so on. In its place, it includes not only the followers of the rejectionist Avigdor Lieberman (now off the list himself due to a corruption inquiry), but also the know-nothing Moshe Feiglin, the anti-democratic Danny Danon and the xenophobic Miri Regev.
    These may not be household names in America, but those of us who have lived in Israel and paid attention to politics know them well. Indeed, my centrist Israeli friends — some of whom have voted for Likud in the past — are gnashing their teeth. It’s as if the Republican Party nominated Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck to its presidential ticket.
    Any American supporting the Likud now has to face the facts. This is not a list taking a somewhat harder negotiating line, or being a bit tougher on Iran. This is a list of nationalist thugs who pander to the absolute worst in all of us: fears, prejudices and most of all, anger. This tactic works; after all, what supporter of Israel isn’t furious with Hamas? Who didn’t entertain a thought of “turning Gaza into a parking lot,” as one conservative friend of mine proposed? It’s natural to feel these emotions — but ill-advised to act on them, and cynical to exploit them.
    Second, among Israeli conservative pundits, a new — or at least newly discussed — narrative has taken hold. The story is that the Palestinian people are not ready for peace, and that this conflict will continue for 100 years. This past November, the writer Daniel Gordis made this point — as a statement of fact — on a panel I shared with him at the General Assembly. Danny Danon, a member of Knesset, made the same argument in an op-ed published in The New York Times.
    Strictly speaking, this argument is not new. Netanyahu’s late father made it decades ago, and arguably it goes back to Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s claim that the Arabs are too proud to ever make peace.
    But think about it: The intellectual leaders of the Israeli right, the brains behind the power today, are telling us that there will be no peace for 100 years: 100 years of occupation (within a few decades, of 5 million people); 100 years of Israeli 18-year-olds risking their lives at checkpoints; 100 years of two-faced Israeli policies, of expanding settlements while maintaining the propaganda of peace. This is appalling to consider — and yet it is what’s being offered in this election. . .
    . . . If, as Americans, we cheer the re-election of this government, we are supporting 100 more years of occupation, and a perilous path for Israel on the world stage. In my view, such a position is not just anti-peace and anti-Jewish values but also anti-Israel, because it is so dangerous to Israel’s very survival — in the real world, if not the far right’s fantasyland. It is the path of madmen: leaders intoxicated with nationalistic rhetoric, and a population that is (understandably) enraged at the Palestinians. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://forward.com/articles/168466/watching-as-israels-election-approaches/?p=all

    • DICKERSON3870
      DICKERSON3870
      December 11, 2013, 9:47 pm

      P.S. ALSO NOTE:

      [EXCERPT] . . . During a performance [in 2010] by singer Dudu Fisher, the God TV camera panned to the audience and centered on Joel Bell, leader of Worldwide Biblical Zionists. WBZ is currently building a center in Sha’ar Benjamin for “facilitating absorption” of Christian Zionists into the West Bank. It was established after a joint meeting held in Texas of the Board of Governors of World Likud led by Danny Danon, and World Evangelical Zionists led by Joel Bell. Speakers included ZOA’s Morton Klein. . . *

      * SOURCE: “A Serial Obstructionist”, By Rachel Tabachnick, ZEEK – Forward, 3/15/10

      [EXCERPTS] . . . Shortly after Vice President Joe Biden’s arrival in Israel, Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat were the headliners at Pastor John Hagee’s two-hour Christians United for Israel (CUFI) extravaganza at the Jerusalem Convention Center. . .
      . . . Monday’s CUFI production was based on the concept of “biblical Zionism,” or the belief that God mandates nonnegotiable borders of Israel, and any leader or nation who thwarts this divine plan will be cursed. Before introducing Netanyahu, Hagee stated, “World leaders do not have the authority to tell Israel and the Jewish people what they can and can not do in Jerusalem.” He added, “Israel does not exist because of a decree of the United Nations in 1948. Israel exists because of a covenant God made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. . . The settlements are not the problem.”
      In his books and sermons Hagee has promoted a “greater Israel,” that will reclaim all of Israel’s former biblical territory, stating “In modern terms, Israel rightfully owns all of present-day Israel, all of Lebanon, half of Syria, two-thirds of Jordan, all of Iraq, and the northern portion of Saudi Arabia.”
      At the Jerusalem CUFI event Hagee described Ahmadinejad as the Hitler of the Middle East who could turn the world upside down in 24 hours, words similar to those he made when lobbying for the attack on Iraq. . .
      . . . During a performance by singer Dudu Fisher, the God TV camera panned to the audience and centered on Joel Bell, leader of Worldwide Biblical Zionists. WBZ is currently building a center in Sha’ar Benjamin for “facilitating absorption” of Christian Zionists into the West Bank. It was established after a joint meeting held in Texas of the Board of Governors of World Likud led by Danny Danon, and World Evangelical Zionists led by Joel Bell. Speakers included ZOA’s Morton Klein. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://zeek.forward.com/articles/116518/

    • DICKERSON3870
      DICKERSON3870
      December 11, 2013, 10:08 pm

      P.P.S. ALSO RE: “Lehrer did not ask Danon about his description of the West Bank as ‘Judea and Samaria’, indicating that it must stay in Jewish hands. Or about other extremist statements he’s made.” ~ Weiss

      FOR INSTANCE, SEE – “End your illusion: Israeli government will never implement a two-state solution, top official says”,
      Ira Glunts, Mondoweiss, 6/08/13

      [EXCERPTS] In an interview given to the “Times of Israel” on Wednesday (June 5) and reported the following day, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon said what most already know: The current Israeli government will never implement a two-state solution.
      There has never been any discussion within the government about the two-state solution:

      ‘Look at the government: there was never a government discussion, resolution or vote about the two-state solution,’ Danon said. ‘If you will bring it to a vote in the government — nobody will bring it to a vote, it’s not smart to do it — but if you bring it to a vote, you will see the majority of Likud ministers, along with the Jewish Home [party], will be against it.’

      Netanyahu is not in favor of a two-state solution despite his claim that he supports it . . .
      . . . For good measure, Danon states that Israel will continue to build in East Jerusalem regardless of what the international community thinks.

      Speaking about the international community’s routine condemnations of Israeli construction in East Jerusalem, Danon declared that the government can do whatever it pleases, wherever it pleases.
      ‘The international community can say whatever they want, and we can do whatever we want,’ he said.

      SOURCE – http://mondoweiss.net/2013/06/government-implement-official.html

    • DICKERSON3870
      DICKERSON3870
      December 11, 2013, 10:43 pm

      P.P.P.S. ALSO RE: “Lehrer did not ask Danon about his description of the West Bank as ‘Judea and Samaria’, indicating that it must stay in Jewish hands. Or about other extremist statements he’s made. Some have described Danon as a fascist for saying that Palestinians belong in Jordan.” ~ Weiss

      FOR THE VERY LATEST IN ISRAELI HAUTE COUTURE, SEE –
      “MK Danny Danon: Latest in Racist Legislative Fashion” ~ by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 12/05/11

      [EXCERPT] If you want to check on the pulse of Israeli fashion–that is the “fashion” of Israeli racism–you can do no better than study MK Danny Danon’s legislative agenda. I don’t usually write about individual bills since there are so many far-right imbeciles who must have their say and they come up with more nonsense than you can shake a stick at. But for MK Danon, for whom Matan Lurey has developed an apt moniker, ‘MKKK,’ I make an exception.
      His new bill would demand that any Israeli seeking any sort of government ID whether a driver’s license, passport, graduation certificate, would have to sign a loyalty oath. The provision is designed to disenfranchise Palestinian Israelis who, Danon presumes, would not do so. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2011/12/05/mk-danny-danon-latest-in-racist-legislative-fashion/

  9. Obsidian
    Obsidian
    December 12, 2013, 12:53 am

    How ironic that Mandela’s ANC was inspired by Menachem Begin’s Irgun terrorist organization.

    http://972mag.com/mandela-i-read-the-revolt-by-menachem-begin-and-was-encouraged/83461/

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      December 12, 2013, 8:33 am

      To anyone who understands the difference between “tactics” and “strategy”, it is neither ironic nor, frankly, very notable.

    • Ellen
      Ellen
      December 12, 2013, 8:38 am

      Obsidian, you do not help your Zionist cause with distortions and lies.

      Nowhere in your linked article does it relate that Mandela was inspired by Begin or any other guerrilla army, or terrorist groups. Instead that when he was faced with organizing an armed wing of the ANC he studied various guerrilla armies from the Boers to the PLO. On Begin and the Irgun, he noted Begin was able to form “a guerrilla force in a country with neither mountains nor forests,” just as in South Africa.

      And on the PLO, he found their cause has similarities.

  10. Citizen
    Citizen
    December 12, 2013, 7:08 am

    In the Leherer interview, Danon also said Israel was worried Iran’s economy is booming, investors are investing there, and in six months there will be many more, and it will be harder to pile more sanctions on Iran. It’s clear unless the US keeps full tilt at walling off Iran in every way, and draining it in every way, Israel will not feel secure about Iran. He also said Iran being allowed even below-weapons grade uranium would be a fatal mistake for Israel. This because if Iran was allowed this, it could quickly jump up to weapons grade whenever it felt like it. Then, the US would be directly threatened as well by Iranian nukes targeted at US homeland.

    Danon also said Kerry’s proposal was to try to take a middle position on Israel’s security concern regarding the Jordan Valley, the border between a state of Palestine and Jordan–Kerry, Danon said, proposed that Israel retain a presence there for ten years, and then get out. Danon said Israel would never accept that. Lehrer next asked Danon what could Kerry do to bridge this gap? Danon said Kerry needs to allow more time for negotiations–Israel needs more time.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      December 12, 2013, 8:11 am

      Danon said Kerry needs to allow more time for negotiations–Israel needs more time.

      How would more time achieve anything if as Danon said Israel would never accept that?

      By more time, does he mean they need more time to establish more facts on the ground?

      • just
        just
        December 13, 2013, 7:59 am

        More time to steal land and resources, kill and maim Palestinian of all ages, incarcerate more Palestinian folk, flout international law……. you know.. time.

        Come home for the holidays Mr. Kerry. Your work is done. Put your efforts into supporting the Palestinians at the UN, and leave these Israeli miscreants behind.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        December 14, 2013, 8:57 am

        @ Shingo
        Lehrer did not follow up when Danon said Israel needs more time. If memory serves, that was very near the end of the interview.

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