The outgoing Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, says the West Bank belongs to the Jews according to the Bible, which is the Jewish deed to the land. So the talk of annexation is wrong; the land already is the Jews’ and the only question is whether to “extend sovereignty.”
Danon said he speaks not as representative of just the government of Israel, but the Jewish people.
Danon explained to Stephen Sackur of the BBC yesterday that Israel did not “blink” at annexation on July 1. July 1 was not a deadline for an announcement; now the discussion begins.
Don’t call it annexation; it’s extending sovereignty to Judea and Samaria.
You cannot annex something that belongs to you. When you annex something you do it from a foreign territory. I do not know from whom we are annexing it . . . Now there is a discussion of applying sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria.
The decision may not be popular in Israel, but it’s up to Netanyahu.
At the end of the day the decision will be made by the Israeli government, the elected government, whether we like it or do not like it. I want to bring you back to 2005 . . . when the government decided to pull out from Gaza and uproot the Jewish communities. Many Israelis were not happy about this decision, but once the government reaches a decision, we implement it . . .
On this issue the Prime Minister does not need the approval of Mr. Benny Gantz and his party, unlike every other decision in the unity government . . .
Though: “Any decision we will make will be coordinated with our allies in Washington.”
Sackur challenged Danon, don’t you believe in international law?
Danon said of course, but:
Before we speak about the legal issues, let’s speak about the biblical rights that we have to the land.
Sackur said, We’re talking international law, why are you introducing the Bible or ancestral history?
I will get to the international law in a minute. We do have biblical rights to the land. Whether you are Christian, Muslim, or Jew — you read the Bible, you read the stories of the Bible — it’s all there.
Is the Bible a legal document?
This is our deed to the land. That’s biblical. We have historical rights to the land . . . you just need to read a history book. You can go to Rome, and see the arch of Titus. And you will see evidence for our connection to the land.
Danon makes Israel’s claim clearer than ever, that Israel has the right to take over land and expel people based on a document of myths that is somewhere between 2000 and 3000 years old. His statement shows that the two-state solution was always a charade, on Israel’s part, and the rest of the world can finally set aside the fiction that Israel ever intended to see a Palestinian state. Sadly, the American media has never highlighted these intolerant Israeli attitudes, though they pervade the highest level of government. Instead, over decades the U.S. government went along with Israeli policies out of political cowardice. John Kerry made a good faith effort to try to bring about a solution in 2014 — and “Poof!” he said, Israel just built more settlements on occupied lands.
Danon said he represents all Jews as ambassador.
I am concluding five intensive years in my position and I can attest that it was a challenging task, and I represent not only the people of Israel, I represented the Jewish people in the U.N.
Sackur said what about the looming isolation if Israel goes through with annexation. Don’t you see a “grave danger.”
Today there is no isolation. We have diplomatic relations with more than 160 nations . . . I don’t think that strategy of threats is working on our decision-makers. . Let’s not speak about threats again, about sanctions and boycott. That’s not how you run diplomacy.
Danon doesn’t worry about evaporation of U.S. support either. He boasted, “As long as we have the U.S. support in the Security Council, we can be relaxed,” and Sackur asked whether he isn’t being complacent. No:
I think we have a bipartisan support for the state of Israel today. When you look at the Congress today, you see it. Yes, there are some extremists who call to boycott Israel, but the majority, when you look at the leaders of the parties, they stand with Israel. They understand the importance of the connection with the only democracy in the Middle East.
So I don’t get involved with the politics in the U.S. Regardless of the results of the elections, we will have the support in the UN, in the Security Council, and I have no doubt about it.