Danon: 'Israel is too democratic'

Full interview: Danon shares his thoughts with 20 Questions on Glenn Beck, the anti-boycott and NGO laws, as well his views on the failure of the two-state solution.

By DEBORAH S. DANAN
July 24, 2011 18:50
2 minute read.
20 questions

20 questions 58. (photo credit: courtsey)

This week’s 20 Questions hosts Danny Danon, a member of Knesset representing the Likud party. Danon is also the chairman of the Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs committee as well as serving as deputy speaker for the Knesset.

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In response to concerns over the democratic legitimacy of recent bills, including his own defeated NGO legislation, MK Danon contends that these bills are protective measures that ensure the rights of all Israeli citizens.


“We are very democratic - even too democratic,” Danon remarked, adding that the anti-boycott law is important because Israel “can’t treat the citizens of Ariel, Ma'ale Adumim and the other communities of Judea and Samaria as second class.”

Allowing Israeli citizens to boycott products from the West Bank would be the beginning of a slippery slope of punitive measure against its residents, Danon explained.

“What we did was sending a clear message,” said Danon, though he admits that he doesn’t know how the law will be implemented since penalizing large numbers of people is a difficult task.

Regarding Danon’s proposed NGO bill which was defeated in the Knesset on Wednesday, he decried the European Union and other states’ funding of organizations that fight against Israel, and claimed that Israel must put a stop to this practice.

Danon affirmed that Israel is “a strong democracy” but that implementing limits is a necessary evil. “Allowing MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) to take part in the flotilla showed how democratic we are.”

Danon sees himself as responsible for closing the legal loopholes that allow MKs such as Zoabi to “take advantage of our system” while technically remaining within democratic bounds.

Danon added that, at times, leftist actions are as harmful to Israel as acts of terrorism. For example, contributions of misinformation to the Goldstone report by members of the Left barred a number of government officials from entering England.

Nevertheless, Danon does not believe that individuals or parties that display anti-Zionist leanings deserve to be outlawed from the Knesset. That is, unless they “cross the line,” namely, cooperating with Israel’s enemies.

According to Danon, as long as they don’t choose to incite violence or refuse to accept Israel as a legitimate democracy, “it is good that we have Arab MKs in the Knesset.”

When asked about Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s positions on land for peace and a two-states model, Danon said that he did not believe that a two-state solution would bring peace to the region, and further added, “the majority of the people who voted for Likud think like me.”

Danon admits that resolving the situation will take at least a decade and will only come with help from surrounding countries including Egypt and Jordon. His “long term vision [is] that we will have maximum control of the land and minimum control of the Palestinian population.” 

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