The Jerusalem Post

Engage with US progressiv­es, but don’t start with Squad’s Omar or Tlaib, Danon tells ‘Post’

Former UN envoy doubts polls saying quarter of American Jews see Israel as ‘apartheid state’


A recent poll showing that about one in every four US Jews believes Israel is an apartheid state committing genocide against the Palestinia­ns unlikely reflects reality, former ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said in a Zoomcast interview with The Jerusalem Post.

“I am not buying those numbers,” said Danon, who served in New York from 2015-2020 and worked closely with the American Jewish community. “Yes we do have a problem with radical elements in the US, but I think overwhelmi­ngly that if you look at the Jewish community, we have a strong bond and stand together.”

He said this was evident during the recent Gaza fighting when “we saw solidarity from millions of Jews from around the world.”

Danon, who worked with the ambassador­s of almost every country in the UN during his stint there except for those from Iran and Libya, said that Israel needs to have a dialogue with the progressiv­e branch of the Democratic Party.

“We need to engage, and don’t need to be afraid of a conversati­on,” he said, adding that “when you sit down and talk, you can make progress.”

That being said, Danon did not recommend initiating

engagement with far Left members of Congress such as Minnesota’s Rep. Ilhan Omar or Michigan’s Rep. Rashida

Tlaib, saying that “they are on a campaign, and it would be hard to actually have a conversati­on with them.

They ignore facts and use hatred to receive donations and get support on social media. So I wouldn’t advise starting with them – there are so many others.”

Danon, who unsuccessf­ully ran against Benjamin Netanyahu for the leadership of the Likud in 2007 and 2014 is not ruling out a future bid as well.

“I definitely plan to be involved and part of the leadership, and have proven that I am not afraid of running for a position in the UN or in the Likud Party,” he said. “I will decide once we know what the procedures [for the Likud leadership race are], dates, and whether Netanyahu is running or not.”

 ?? ILHAN OMAR ?? (Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters)
ILHAN OMAR (Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters)
 ??  ?? RASHIDA TLAIB (Rebecca Cook/Reuters)
RASHIDA TLAIB (Rebecca Cook/Reuters)

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