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Mishpacha Speaks to UN Ambassador Danny Danon About Recent Developments
Thursday, April 20, 2017
A s America’s UN Ambassador Nikki Haley took her seat this month as head of the Security Council’s rotating presidency, she promised to steer council away from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and toward other longstanding issues that have been neglected.
The Security Council regularly sanctions Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, while ignoring serious infractions elsewhere across the world.
Fresh off standing ovations at both AIPAC and an anti-BDS conference, Haley has made it abundantly clear she will not abide by the time-honored UN playbook on Israel, especially in the UN Human Rights Council, which obsessively focuses on the Jewish state.
Israel’s UN ambassador, Danny Danon, tells Mishpacha that support from the new US administration and Ambassador Haley gives Israel confidence to pursue its longstanding agenda of fostering a more balanced outlook at the world body.
“We also have a new Secretary General at the UN, and while we can’t expect him to be supportive of Israel, we do expect him to stay objective,” Danon says.
In 2016, the UN passed 20 resolutions against Israel, compared to only 6 resolutions against all other member nations combined. “This is insane. It is an obsession,” Danon says.
Danon spoke with Mishpacha at the end of March, on the day that Israel was sponsoring an anti-BDS summit at the world body. That same day, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs slashed $2 million in funding for UN agencies in response to five new UN Human Rights Council resolutions condemning Israel for various alleged abuses of Palestinians. Israel said it will add that $2 million to its own foreign aid budget for developing countries that support Israel in international forums.
Asked about the funding cuts, Danon explained: “This is a symbolic act. We wanted to send a message that we cannot allow this to happen and that we will support other, friendly countries, with our money, but not the Human Rights Council.”
Danon said he was also pleased that Ambassador Haley demanded that yet another anti-Israel report, this one authored by Richard Falk, the former UN Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian territories, accusing Israel of apartheid, be withdrawn. It was, and the UN director in charge of the agency that ordered the report resigned in protest at the end of March.
Regarding his own developing relationship with Haley, and whether he has offered her any advice from his own year-plus of experience at the UN, Danon said: “She has her own staff, she is very professional, and she doesn’t need advice from me. But when it comes to Israel, we share the same views. The positions Nikki Haley has taken at the UN with regard to Israel are very important, and I am very grateful for that.” (Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 656)
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