web analytics
August 2, 2015 / 17 Av, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


‘Sometimes We Forget That We’re A Sovereign State’: An Interview with MK Danny Danon

MK Danny Danon

MK Danny Danon

“I think it’s about time that we on the Right say what we think and not always be on the defense when people raise the issue of a two-state solution,” MK Danny Danon told The Jewish Press.

Danon, 41, deputy speaker of Israel’s Knesset and chairman of World Likud, published his first book last month, Israel: The Will to Prevail (published by Palgrave Macmillan). In it, he outlines his vision for Israel’s future while also reviewing historical, religious, political, legal, and contemporary factors crucial for understanding modern-day Israel.

The Jewish Press recently spoke with him about his new book, among other issues.

The Jewish Press: In Israel: The Will to Prevail, you propose not a two-state but a three-state solution to solve Israel’s ongoing security problems. What is the three-state solution?

Danon: The three-state solution consists of Israel, Jordan and Egypt. It calls for the Palestinians living in Judea and Samaria to be linked to Jordan, and the Palestinians living in Gaza to be linked to Egypt. Already today you see the linkage between the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the Hamas regime in Gaza.

Why must the Palestinians be linked to anyone? Why can’t matters continue as they are today?

Because eventually I believe there should be a separation [between Jews and Palestinians]. So, for example, if the Palestinians want to fly, they should do so from Amman, Jordan, not from Ben Gurion Airport.

They need some kind of connection with an independent country – for exports and imports, for flying, for currency, etc. I’m pushing, though, that the connection not be with Israel but with Jordan and Egypt.

As part of your vision for Israel’s future that you lay out in your book, you advocate that Israel annex a huge chunk of the West Bank.

Yes, that’s something I’m already promoting now. I want to apply Israeli sovereignty over all the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. In the long run, I think we should also apply sovereignty over all the vacant land in Judea and Samaria. My idea is to annex the majority of the land without the majority of the Palestinian population.

Is there any chance of the Knesset approving such an annexation plan?

Yes, I think it’s feasible. It’s not going to be easy, but last year, for example, the majority of [Likud Knesset members agreed] that if there is a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood in the UN, Israel will unilaterally annex the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

So we need to think about the timing, but I think it is feasible.

Netanyahu, however, is not in favor of annexing the West Bank.

He is not there yet, but there are people who can influence him. I always stress to Netanyahu that Menachem Begin had the courage to make a bold decision when he decided to annex the Golan Heights [in 1981 despite international disapproval].

But the condemnations Israel will receive for annexing parts of the West Bank will surely be worse than those that followed the Golan Heights annexation.

Yes, but it will not last forever.

In the book you state that the Arabs must recognize Israel’s “right to exist.” Why is that important? Who cares what the Arabs recognize? As long as they don’t launch wars, why should anyone care whether they recognize Israel? It almost seems silly to run after someone, saying, “Please recognize me!”

I think when we’re dealing with the pressure against Israel, you have to stress very clearly that [the conflict] is not about terms of conditions or negotiations. It’s much more basic. It’s that we have no viable partner. And one of the issues to make this point is that we’re dealing with a terrorist organization that doesn’t even recognize us. Furthermore, they’re not talking about the ‘67 lines but the ‘48 lines.

I think when you add these things together, you understand that it’s a non-starter. There’s no one to speak with – and it has nothing to do with the prime minister or the settlements or anything else.

One of the themes in your book is that Israel must always act in its best interests even if that means disregarding or angering the U.S. Can you elaborate?

I think we have to make decisions according to what is good for us. Even though we – Israel and the U.S. – are strong allies and share the same values and enemies, when it comes to decisions, we have to do what’s good for us, no matter what.

I give two examples in the book. The first one is the Yom Kippur War. Golda Meir was afraid to [launch a preemptive strike against Egypt] because she was afraid of Henry Kissinger. We paid a very heavy price because of that. The second example is Prime Minister Begin who decided to attack the Iraqi nuclear reactor even though he knew he wouldn’t have the support of the U.S. at that time.

In the book, I also touch on the issue of President Obama pushing the prime minister for a settlement freeze and a two-state solution. I think at the beginning Netanyahu made a mistake, trying to appease President Obama. Afterwards, though, he stood on principle and told him, “No, we cannot do this.”

Israelis always seem terribly concerned with what the U.S. thinks of it and its policies. Why?

I think because we have many enemies and the U.S. is a strong ally that supports Israel in the UN and on many other occasions. Sometimes, though, we forget that we’re a sovereign state. [Sometimes, it’s important] to say, “Yes, we love the U.S., but we’re not the U.S.” We have different interests. And when it comes to a conflict of interests, we have to do what’s good for us.

In that vein, why is Israel currently asking the U.S. to bomb Iran? Isn’t Iran really much more Israel’s problem than the U.S.’s?

I don’t think we’re asking America to bomb Iran, I think that we’re expecting to see a joint effort of the democracies around the world united against this threat. And we expect to see the leadership coming from Washington.

Iran is an immediate threat to Israel. But eventually it will be a threat also to America and Europe. Nobody can guarantee that [Iran’s nuclear] technology will only be used against Jews. It’s a global threat, and that’s one thing we are trying to convince the rest of the world [about].

Why? If America or Europe doesn’t see matters in this light, let Israel bomb Iran itself. Why is it important for it to convince others to join it?

Because it’s not an easy operation, and I think it will be much more effective if other forces are involved.

In media articles about Moshe Feiglin – head of the far-right Manhigut Yehudit organization – your name occasionally pops up. What do you think of Feiglin?

I just met him two days ago, and I wish him success in his race in the upcoming elections.

Feiglin has many friends but also many enemies. Which category would you place yourself in?

I would put myself as his friend, but that doesn’t mean I accept all of his ideas. He has his ideas, and I have my ideas. But I think that there is a place in the Likud for his ideas, especially when you have people like Dan Meridor in the Likud.

Feiglin’s stated goal is to become prime minister. Supposing he attained this goal, would you be pleased?

Well, I wish him success on becoming a member of Knesset; I think that will be a start. One of the main things of the Likud is that it’s a democracy. So if he will be able to convince the majority of Likud members [to elect him head of Likud, fine]. But I think it’s too early to discuss it.

Do you have ambitions to become prime minister?

I think everybody in politics needs ambition. Ariel Sharon, whom I was close to before the Disengagement, once told me that politics is like a pyramid – every MK wants to become a minister and every minister wants to become prime minister. I am in this game. I am in my first term as an MK and I hope to move up to a minister position.

About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “‘Sometimes We Forget That We’re A Sovereign State’: An Interview with MK Danny Danon”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Thousands of Israelis at an anti-violence and anti-homophobia rally in Tel Aviv Saturday night.
Rally against Violence Bars Religious MKs and Boos Right-Winger
Latest Indepth Stories
Jonathan Pollard.

Jonathan remember, as long as you’re denied your right to come home to Israel you’re still in prison

Inside of the home burned in the Prce Tag attack in the village of Duma.

Reports of a dead baby, a devastated family, and indications of a gloating attacker.

Silhouette of "hilltop settler."

“Yesha” and Binyamin Regional Council leaders said the attack “is not the path of Jews in Judea and Samaria.”

Schwartz-073115

The occasion? The rarely performed mitzvah of pidyon peter chamor: Redemption of a firstborn donkey.

American leftists have a pathological self-inflicted blindness to the dangers of political Islam

Hillary should THANK Trump; By dominating the news he’s overshadowed the implosion of her campaign

Hard to remember when Jewish youth were so hostile to their heritage as they are on campuses today.

Names of the enablers of Iran’s Nuclear weapons will be added next to Hitler’s on the list of infamy

By most accounts, the one person with the political muscle to swing enough Democratic votes to override a veto is Sen. Schumer.

The next day, in a speech in New York to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry substantially upped the ante.

In Israel, the judiciary has established itself as superior to ALL other branches of the government.

The Fifteenth Day of the month of Av became a day of national rejoicing. The moment that had seemed hopeless became the moment of Redemption.

I think the melodies in our religious services have a haunting sound to them that just permeates your guts and gets into your soul. If you have any musical inclination, I think they inspire you to compose.

Cavalier analogies to the Holocaust are unacceptable, but Huckabee’s analogy was very appropriate.

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
Harvey Rachlin

I think the melodies in our religious services have a haunting sound to them that just permeates your guts and gets into your soul. If you have any musical inclination, I think they inspire you to compose.

Marc Shapiro

In his day, Rav Kook was the greatest writer of haskamot and pretty much everyone in the Lithuanian Torah world wanted his approbation.

But on the human level, public protest played a very central role. And that’s not my position – it’s the position of historians who are experts in this area.

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

My best book is one that hasn’t been published yet.

Israel is not the only issue that has drawn Jews closer to conservative Christians in recent decades. The culture wars have played a significant role as well.

What books might people be surprised to find on your bookshelves?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/sometimes-we-forget-that-were-a-sovereign-state-an-interview-with-mk-danny-danon/2012/10/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: