That’s our man – what ‘rising star’ Danny Danon would make of Palestine/Israel
Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam
If you want to check on the pulse of Israeli fashion–that is the “fashion” of Israeli racism–you can do no better than study MK Danny Danon’s legislative agenda. I don’t usually write about individual bills since there are so many far-right imbeciles who must have their say and they come up with more nonsense than you can shake a stick at. But for MK Danon, for whom Matan Lurey has developed an apt moniker, ‘MKKK,’ I make an exception.
His new bill would demand that any Israeli seeking any sort of government ID whether a driver’s license, passport, graduation certificate, would have to sign a loyalty oath. The provision is designed to disenfranchise Palestinian Israelis who, Danon presumes, would not do so. One of the many lunatic aspects of this bill is that non-Jewish Israelis would have no problem signing a statement expressing loyalty to Israel. Because they are loyal to Israel. An Israel, that is, that is democratic and offers them rights as citizens. This fact, that his bill would not achieve his aim, undoes all the venom Danon is attempting to inject into the social discourse with this harkening back to Nuremberg-type laws. For Palestinian Israelis to refuse to sign, it would have to include a provision demanding loyalty to “the Jewish state, that is Israel.” Even if such a bill with such language did pass, I doubt it could pass muster in the Supreme Court. That is, unless new legal provisions permit a politicization of the nomination process allowing the Court to swing toward the settler outlook.
As if he hadn’t done enough to raise the volume of Jewish racism in Israel, Danon also added this zinger:
“Israeli Arabs disrespect the laws of the nation having far higher rates of criminality than any other ethnic group.”
Among his claims is that these Israeli citizens have voiced support for those “calling for the destruction of the State of Israel.” Of course, he doesn’t say which Israelis did this, what they said, which group they allegedly supported, nor did he offer any support for the claim that the group mentioned supported the destruction of Israel. Danny has a wee small problem with evidence. He’s much better at the smear than at offering facts.
Another Likud ‘solon’, Ofir Akunis, made the brilliant observation, in defending the Knesset’s draconian set of anti-democracy bills, that Joe McCarthy “was right in every word, the fact is -there were Soviet agents.” This is the same distinguished advocate for free speech and democratic values who co-sponsored the bill which would outlaw foreign funding for Israeli NGOs. In fact, in this interview he was arguing that Israeli NGOs. by accepting foreign money, are agents of foreign powers. That makes the United Nations and European Union the equivalent of 1950s-era Communist subversives. If you follow this argument to its proper insane conclusion you could argue that any American Jewish group that received any funding from Israel or an Israeli organization was an agent of a foreign power (i.e. Israel). Is that really where you want to take this argument??
You have to wonder what planet these people are living on. Akunis attempted to dig himself out of the hole he was in by claiming after the fact that McCarthy was only right in the sense that he pointed out Communists in the U.S. government. You see, there’s a problem with idiots like this attempting to expound on subjects they know nothing about. I’d rather him blather on about Israeli history. At least he’d have half a chance of being accurate once in a while. About U.S. history he’s hopeless. McCarthy didn’t uncover a single Communist, though he sure as hell tried hard enough and ruined enough careers in the process.
Profile of MK Danny Danon, Israel’s Rising Star of the Right
Jack Weston, Alternative Information Center (AIC)
A key promoter in Israel’s recently passed anti-BDS and other anti-democratic legislation, Knesset Member Danny Danon is a rising star of the Likud party. Jack Weston profiles the man who some say wishes to be prime minister of Israel.
A joint proposal by Israeli Knesset Members Danny Danon (Likud) and Faina Kirschenbaum (Yisrael Beitenu) to investigate funding and land purchases by leftist organizations was rejected by Israel’s Knesset on 20 July. After government crackdowns on activists involved in the “Welcome to Palestine” campaign, and the recent passing of anti-boycott legislation in the Knesset, this is a small victory for the left. MK Danon and MK Kirschenbaum’s move to probe left-wing organizations is over for now, but their message is clear. “These are political organizations outside the consensus,” Danon said. And to him, this is unacceptable: “Funding from the EU for [left-wing] organizations that fight against Israel, it is something we should stop. I think they are not part of the system.”
Danon was born in Ramat Gan and now lives with his wife and three children in Moshav Mishmeret. Chairman of the Immigration Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee and Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, Danon expresses a strong will to preserve Israel as a democratic state. Recent remarks, however, tell a different story however: “We [Israel] are very democratic. Even too democratic…We have a strong democracy, it should be a strong democracy, but we have to set some limits.”
Political speech is one limit Danon seems to be referring to. In a recent interview, Danon asserts that leftist opposition to the recently passed anti-boycott legislation, deemed undemocratic by many, is hypocritical. As the democratically chosen representative of the Israeli people, Danon said, Likud has the right to pass this law, which bans public advocacy for “a boycott against the state of Israel.”
With a promising career, Danon, who received a B.A. in International Relations at FloridaInternational University, and a M.A. in Public Policy and Public Administration from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is a competitive Likud member. Towing the party line, while also making a name for himself through criticism of PM Netanyahu, has allowed Danon to stand out amongst the ranks. His fierce opposition to settlement construction freezes in 2010 gave him the platform to launch a huge campaign criticising Netanyahu for soft policy, and the Obama administration for “racism,” even appearing across the pond on New York’s 770 WABC radio.
Solidifying his strong-willed patriotic character, Danon adopts an aggressively “pro-Israel” stance on the Palestinian question, rejecting a two-state solution and believing there can be no peace between two states based on 1967 lines. Danon’s vision is to annex “Judea and Sumaria,” giving Israel “maximum control over the land and minimum [civil] control of the Palestinian people.” Marking the Palestinian Authority’s move for UN membership this September as an opportune time to do so, Danon contends that annexation would give Israel security, allow for consolidation of the Palestinian population and fulfill the “Jewish right to control the land of Israel”.
Danon is an ambitious MK who has run for party leader, and rumors have spread that he may aspire to become Prime Minister. Active in Knesset lobbies advantageous to thriving in the Likud party, Danon is the chairman of three lobbies including the Lobby for Widows and Orphans of the Israeli army, and the Lobby for Promotion of Zionist Values. He is also a member of the Lobby for Strengthening the Periphery and the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus.
But Danon is a new breed of Israeli politician; a man whose political identity does not end with a fierce loyalty to his party, its restrictions on democratic dialogue and enthusiastic nationalism. Emerging as a key political player, he gains support through the crafting of an individual political image characteristic of American politicians, who run individually and create a personal following. In Israel, where parties, not individuals, are voted into office, this is an evolving new phenomenon.
Danon uses political strategies involving a high level of social media to create this following. Epitomized in his personal website, anyone with internet access can get to know what Danny Danon is all about. Dannydanon.com contains a comprehensive overview of Danon’s life, of the Likud manifesto, and creates a narrative of his personal work life chronicled in a news section. Danon is now even accessible by mobile device through his active Twitter account, in English and Hebrew, and his personal downloadable mobile app, allowing citizens to follow him daily.
With this social media network in place, Danon gives his politics a new dimension, deeply involving the electorate. In 2010, Danon spearheaded the Virtual Hourglass Campaign, when he installed a virtual hourglass on his website that counted down the hours until the aforementioned settlement construction freeze ended. “This is a reminder to Prime Minister Netanyahu that we are counting down the days and hours until the end of this mistaken building freeze…The prime minister promised the members of the Likud Party that on the 26th of September we will resume building in these important communities. We are eagerly awaiting that day.” The hourglass was available for download to computers and cell phones to be used as a screensaver, and appeared on several news sites. With this PR move, a solidarity with settlers and the Israeli right was created on an interactive level that Netanyahu could not provide. Danon was able to retain his Likud identity, simultaneously isolating himself in a positive limelight.
Danon drew attention again this month when he invited Glenn Beck to address the Knesset Aliyah and Absorption Committee. Danon introduced Beck expressing admiration for Beck’s “unconditional support of Israel.” He added, “I wish we had more Glenn Becks today…We need more people like you who are not afraid to speak out for the people of Israel, for the cause, and I think by working together, Jews and Christians alike, that is the way to overcome tasks and obstacles.”
Glenn Beck’s invitation to the Knesset is telling. Danon reached beyond the diplomatic scope, actively involving himself with a non-governmental media figure, developing a new social dimension within his political image that enclosed a personal connection with his audience. As he put it when discussing Glenn Beck’s visit, “there is a big difference between the White House and the American people, and we are trying to speak directly to the American people.”
But where is this all headed? In the Israeli political system, is it relevant to have a personal following, a unique political image that transcends the political field into the social sphere? In a political culture that idolizes figureheads and specific candidates, party platforms become less relevant in elections; the electorate becomes more attached to vague political convictions and the personality of the candidate, than platform issues; Sarah Palin comes to mind. Danon’s media savvy and honest presentation of opinion, develop his image in a way that thrives in such an environment. While Israeli politicians must pander to the public in the present, the status quo could be superseded by a media-frenzied approach if the political climate evolves as Danon is. Danon is a contender in the Knesset. He might be a “backbencher” for now, but this may very well be a matter of time.
 Defined as “deliberately avoiding economic, cultural or academic ties with another person or another factor only because of his ties with the State of Israel, one of its institutions or an area under its control, in such a way that may cause economic, cultural or academic damage.”
Danon sponsors anti-boycott bill
Jewish Forward, 13.07.11
The Law to Prevent Harm to the State of Israel by Means of Boycott, passed on July 11, makes it illegal to knowingly publish “a public call for a boycott against the State of Israel.”… Parliament member Danny Danon, one of the sponsors of the bill, said he was “proud” the bill passed and brushed off claims of it being anti-democratic.
“There is place only for one state on the land of Israel”
Al Jazeera, 05.08.11
Few men in Israeli politics today stir more emotions than Danny Danon, the deputy speaker of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset. To his supporters, he is a patriot, a defender of the Jewish state and a strong supporter of Israeli settlers. His opponents call him and his followers dangerous.
One of his most controversial recent causes was making it legal to sue people for organising boycotts, for example of products manufactured by settlers in the West Bank. He also wants to expel from the Knesset any member who joins any activity which would join the siege of Gaza.
In this episode of Talk to Jazeera, Danon explains to Al Jazeera’s Teymoor Nabili why he does not believe in a two-state solution.
“There is place only for one state on the land of Israel …. I do not believe in a two-state solution”
Danon behind attack on All for Peace radio station
The Communications Ministry ordered the Kol Hashalom station, or All for Peace, to shut down earlier this month for broadcasting into Israel illegally. But Danny Danon, a member of Benjamin Netanyahu’s hawkish Likud party, boasted that he had instigated an investigation into the station for alleged incitement against Israel.
The attack on the radio station, which has broadcast for seven years, raises fresh concerns about press freedoms at a time when many of Israel’s liberals view the country’s democracy as under threat from the right wing.
“For every missile that falls in our southern towns, we delete a neighborhood in Gaza”
Danon: “I am currently in Ashkelon to witness the security problem facing the city specifically in neighborhoods with new Olim and have come to two main conclusions. Firstly, we must do everything we can to ensure the safety of all residents with an emphasis on areas with new immigrants who greatly lack protection, and more importantly, to deal with Hamas leaders in Gaza, and for every missile that falls in our southern towns, we retaliate by deleting a neighborhood in Gaza”
MK Danny Danon’s proposal calls for Israel to declare sovereignty over the Jews’ Biblical heartland.
Israel National News, 30.10.11
Deputy Knesset Speaker MK Danny Danon (Likud) will formally propose a law Monday that would make Israel sovereign over Judea and Samaria. The proposal will be placed before the Ministerial Committee on Legislation, which will decide whether the governing coalition supports the bill.
Danon says Obama wants to remove Israel from map
(after Obama called for return to 1967 boundaries)
NY Times, 20.05.11
Danny Danon, a member of Parliament from Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud party, said: “With his call for Israel to return to 1967 borders before the Palestinians even sit down at the negotiating table, it is now clear that the U.S. president has adopted Yasir Arafat’s infamous ‘Stages Plan’ and the hope to eventually remove the State of Israel from the map.”
Danon wants loyalty oath to ‘Jewish state’ in return for driving licence
Danny Danon, announced on the same Channel 10 [as MK Ofir Akunis spoke of his admiration for Senator Joe McCarthy] that he is proposing a law which will require each citizen who wants an ID card, passport or driving license to sign a declaration of loyalty to the State of Israel.
Soulmate Glenn Beck
In June 2011, after an appearance on his Fox News program, Danon invited the right-wing American political commentator Glenn Beck to address the Knesset Immigration, Absorption, Diaspora Affairs Committee during his scheduled August visit, describing it as “an opportunity to explain to the world that we are not occupying anything.” [ The invitation came only four months after the Anti-Defamation League denounced Beck for “bigoted ignorance” and six months after four hundred American rabbis published an open letter to Beck’s employer,News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch, accusing Beck of “diminishing the memory and meaning of the Holocaust.”
Bill to cut off funds to NGOs
Huffington Post, 13.11.11
Member of the Knesset (MK) for Likud Danny Danon also backed the move, saying that cutting off the funding to the organisations “is a first step in removing the marginal affliction of the extreme left wing from Israeli society.”