The former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, has written that the latest ambassador chosen by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to represent Israel at the United Nations is an extremist.
Netanyahu has tapped Danny Danon, a rightwing zealot who even the New York Times is honest about: “an ambitious, headline-grabbing young politician who has called for Israel to annex all West Bank settlements, annul the Oslo Peace Accords and allow Jews to pray on the Temple Mount.”
Michael Oren writes in his new book Ally that he was enraged in 2011 when the New York Times published a piece on the peace process by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Oren sought to counter the piece with an article by Israeli president Shimon Peres.
But it was a measure of the NYT’s “malicious” intent toward Israel that instead it ran an article by Danny Danon, calling for Israel to annex the West Bank.
Oren learned about the Times’s plan ahead of time and was upset.
A rightist who opposed the two-state solution, Danon would only make Israel look more extreme, I knew, which is perhaps what [NYT editorial page editor Andrew] Rosenthal wanted. “Hold off on Danon,” I urged the editor. “I’ll get you the Peres piece in time to go to press tomorrow.”
But in an act of “chicanery,” the Times published Danon’s article.
Oren, now a member of the Israeli parliament, is a fierce apologist for everything that Israel does. But even he must be disturbed that his Prime Minister is doing everything in his power to “make Israel look more extreme.”