Danon on judicial reforms: Wait till endgame, then make judgment

Israel's former ambassador to the UN has called on US leaders to take a step back from Israeli politics.

Likud MK Danny Danon speaks at the Democracy 2023 conference. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Likud MK Danny Danon speaks at the Democracy 2023 conference.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

“I call on my colleagues [in the US]: wait until the endgame, then make your judgment,” Likud MK and former ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said at the joint Jerusalem Post-Israel Democracy Institute conference on Tuesday, referring to the currently proposed and divisive judicial reforms.

Danon called on American leaders to respect Israel’s democratic processes and not to behave patronizingly about the reforms that the coalition wants to pass, he said.
“This is not how family members treat each other. No Israelis came to the Americans and told them what to do following their election,” the former ambassador said.
He also called for perspective.

Calling on UN states to consider bumps in the democratic process

“When I looked around at the other 193 states in the UN, so few of them have real democratic elections,” he said.Danon also addressed the Israeli government’s decision to dismantle an illegal Jewish outpost on Friday, despite its identity as a fully right-wing government.

 MK Danny Danon in conversation with Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman at the Democracy 2023 conference. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM) MK Danny Danon in conversation with Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman at the Democracy 2023 conference. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

“I fully support respecting the rule of law. But the law needs to be enforced for the Palestinians as well,” he said, citing the government’s upcoming decision about whether or not to dismantle the village of Khan al-Ahmar east of Jerusalem.

The government needed to prove that it would fulfill its promises to its constituent; Khan al-Ahmar is a symbol for the Palestinian Authority and therefore this was the place to start, Danon said.
But no matter how fierce the ideological battles will be, it is important to continue to conduct oneself with dignity, he concluded.
Ra’am chairman MK Mansour Abbas also participated in the conference.
Abbas’s party served as a member of the Lapid-Bennett coalition and is sitting in the opposition now. This is like “a soccer coach taking you out of the game after scoring goals.”
“On one hand, we received another mandate than the previous election, and we are now the largest Arab party in the Knesset. On the other hand, we lost our influence,” he said.
Abbas said that he was proud of his party’s achievements in the previous coalition, listing for example new differential funding for high schools, and a spike in the construction of new classrooms as well as more construction in general. For the first time, the state participated in the funding of an Arab, privately owned industrial zone, he said.
The very fact that he joined the coalition made a big difference. For the first time, people were asking the Arab citizens themselves what their needs were, Abbas said.

“This is not how family members treat each other."

Likud MK Danny Danon

Asked about Israeli-Arabs not participating in demonstrations against the government’s judicial reform, Abbas said that while his constituents care very much about the matter, they are not politically engaged to a large extent. They often do not protest even for their own pressing needs, such as crime in the Arab sector, and they also participate far less in national elections.

The opposition party leader added that while he was willing to join a Netanyahu-led government a year-and-a-half ago, the situation has changed – and he was no longer wanted.
But if the makeup of the coalition changes and he is invited into a coalition, he will consider it.