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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Danny Danon’

MK Danon Goes to US Jews to Make Case against Freeing Terrorists

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, and increasingly popular Likud Knesset Member, went to the American Jewish audience Tuesday to repeat his threat that he will resign his post if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pushes through a vote to free more Palestinian Authority terrorists, including Arabs who are car-carrying Israeli citizens.

Danon is in a win-win situation. If it happens, Danon will have pulled out the rug from under Netanyahu because a growing number of Israelis and Americans are sick and tired of Israel’s freeing terrorists for no reason other than to pacify U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the Palestinian Authority. If it doesn’t happen, Danon will have scored points by taking a stand long before Netanyahu has showed his cards. The Likud’s old guard doesn’t like Danon for one reason – they are afraid he is getting too popular, but they would be smarter if they understood why.

He wrote the following article that JTA featured on Tuesday as an op-ed:

It is no secret that when Israel’s government announced this past September that we would be returning to the table to negotiate with the Palestinians, I was not optimistic about the prospects of this latest round of talks.
I knew that as much as we desire peace and normalcy for this region, our Palestinian counterparts have never tired in making demands without any corresponding willingness to offer concessions and prove themselves as real negotiating partners. While many Israelis viewed these talks as a harmless diversion to placate some of our allies abroad, I warned my colleagues of the dire implications these talks would have on our security.
Though I was extremely concerned that our government might concede strategically important territory or relinquish parts of our historic homeland, what angered me most was the Palestinian demand as a precursor to even coming to the table that we release more than a hundred of their prisoners — men and women with blood on their hands. In essence, the demand was that we set murderers free for the privilege of negotiating peace.
Last week, I made the difficult but necessary decision that if the final round of the prisoner release goes ahead as planned on March 29, I will resign my position as Israel’s deputy defense minister.
It was not a simple matter for me to vocalize my opposition to these prisoner releases when they were first agreed to. Both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon fully endorsed the release, claiming that it would enhance our geopolitical standing.
While I respect my government colleagues, I could not remain silent amid the calls of mothers and fathers of victims of terror who were horrified by the notion of their loved ones’ killers being set free. I also knew that the release of convicted murders to the Palestinian cities and villages of Judea and Samaria would only encourage terrorists to increase their attacks on innocent Israelis.
Despite my strong protests last fall, the Cabinet voted to support the prime minister’s initiative. The murderers’ prison doors swung open while Israelis looked on in disgust at this injustice.
Flash forward nine months.
Despite our constant desire to find a peaceful solution, it is now apparent to everyone that these negotiations have failed. As much as our American friends wanted to make the impossible possible, the Palestinian leadership predictably held true to its demands for full Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines while maintaining its historic refusal to recognize our legitimate right to exist as a Jewish state in our ancient homeland.
If this were simply a matter of watching with proven skepticism as this charade of diplomacy was allowed to unravel, I too would likely have been ambivalent, but I wouldn’t necessarily have been angry. The ultimate disgrace, though, was that after a complete and utter failure, where the two sides are clearly no closer to the resolution of the conflict than we were a year ago, we are again being asked to release Palestinian prisoners.
This is a farce that I am not willing to accept.
I have done my utmost to serve in my role as deputy defense minister with pride and distinction, and I had looked forward to continuing to do so for the duration of the current government. At the same time, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot, and will not, represent a government that ignores the will of its people and kowtows to international opinion even when we know that doing so is harmful to our interests. If it comes to it, I will respectfully inform the prime minister of my resignation at the very moment that first prison door is unlocked, continuing to serve my nation instead as a dedicated member of Knesset.
The prime minister and the relevant parties still have the time and opportunity to recognize the danger of this planned release, and I hope that they will make the necessary decision to protect our national interest.
But if they do not, I will not stand idly by as the State of Israel further denigrates itself and harms the security of its people.

Court Decision May Help Likud Dump Netanyahu’s Concessions to PA

Monday, February 17th, 2014

The Tel Aviv District Court in one swoop has threatened Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s ability to carry out concessions to the Palestinian Authority, meaning U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and also has made him vulnerable to a rebellion within his Likud party.

The ruling, virtually unnoticed or underplayed by most Israeli media, overthrows an internal Likud court decision that decreed that the head of the party’s Central Committee has the power to convene the committee on police issues, a power that Netanyahu wants only for himself.

The head of the committee happens to be one of Netanyahu’s’ most nationalist Knesset Members, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon.

After the internal Likud court overruled the Likud law committee’s decision backing Danon, he appealed to the Tel Aviv court and won his case on Monday. However, Prime Minister Netanyahu is not accepting defeat and will appeal to the Supreme Court.

That will be an interesting show. On the one hand, the High Court has a long history of ruling for democracy, in this case the claim by Danon and supported by the Tel Aviv court that Netanyahu is trying to take totalitarian control of the party.

On the other hand, if the High Court, which historically loves Peace Now and hates nationalists, upholds Danon’s claim, it could put in jeopardy Kerry’s juggernaut that has trampled over the Prime Minister. Netanyahu so far has refused to say “no” for fear of being blamed for standing up against President Barack Obama and wrecking his plan to pronounce instant peace in the Middle East with the creation of a new Palestinian Authority state within Israel’s own borders.

If Danon can convene the Central Committee on issues that Netanyahu wants to decide for himself, such as paving the way for expelling more than 150,000 Jews from Judea and Samaria, dividing Jerusalem and allowing NATO troops to protect Israel from Palestinian Authority terrorists, he could very well win the day and bury Kerry’s blind drive to rub Israel’s nose in the sand at Mahmoud Abbas’ feet.

The only obstacle to a full-scale rebellion within the Likud party is Netanyahu’s power to fire any Cabinet minister and deputy minister who gets in his way. The list is getting longer every day, including Danon, Tzipi Hotovely, Ze’ev Elkin, Yuval Steinitz and Miri Regev, among others.

If the Supreme Court does not change the lower court decision, Prime Minister Netanyahu can easily climb down from his limb, which is getting longer every day and where he is hanging much lonelier than ever, and tell President Obama that “democracy is democracy,” and, “Tough luck, pal.”

If the Likud committee votes its conscience and squashes proposed concessions, and if Prime Minister Netanyahu insists on walking on his knees with Washington, he could face political oblivion.

In 2005, the Liked Central committee voted overwhelmingly against a policy of expelling Jews from Gaza. When Sharon nevertheless tried to get his way in the Knesset Likud, formed the Kadima party and brought along most of the former Likud MKs who wanted their seats of power more than a clean conscience.

Netanyahu, who did not join the parade, does not have the clout that Sharon had.

Trying to for a new party and heading a center-left coalition would be political suicide

But having to swallow the dictates of the party Central Committee would leave him with less power.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

The Right Moment for Israel’s Danny Danon?

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Originally published at Daniel Pipes.

Lunacy.” That’s how Danny Danon describes Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision to hand over 104 killers to the Palestinian Authority as a “goodwill gesture.”

He’s hardly alone, as many observers (including myself) are outraged by this move. But Danon, 42, has a unique place in this debate because he (1) sits in Israel’s parliament as a member of Netanyahu’s Likud Party, he (2) is chairman of Likud’s powerful Central Committee, and he (3) serves as Israel’s deputy minister of Defense. In American terms, his criticism resembles Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s 2010 interview mocking Vice President Joe Biden. But McChrystal was gone within days whereas Danon continues to gain influence and stature.

Danon’s ability to denounce his own prime minister’s actions points to his not being a routine politician. Three qualities stand out: a devotion to principle, a mastery of tactics, and the ability to articulate a vision.

Daniel Pipes testifying before the Knesset's Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee, chaired by Danny Danon, in March 2012.

Daniel Pipes testifying before the Knesset’s Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee, chaired by Danny Danon, in March 2012.

Danon has remained true to the core principles of his party and his country. His righteous opposition when his party makes mistakes – such as the 2009 freeze on building residences for Jews on the West Bank or accepting the two-state solution – shows a strength of character. As he points out, “It’s not easy being in a room of thirty people, alone saying no.”

His rise through Israel’s national camp institutions reveals tactical skill: serving as assistant to Uzi Landau, as head of the World Betar Organization, then head of the World Likud Organization, as organizer of street protests and challenger to the prime minister for the party’s leadership. These efforts culminated in his strong showing in his party’s electoral list (coming in No. 5) and the jaw-dropping 85 percent of the vote he won in elections to lead Likud’s Central Committee. With reason, the Forward newspaper calls him “a master of social and conventional media” and the Times of Israel deems him “a major stumbling block toward Palestinian statehood.”

Finally, the vision: Its fullest articulation is found in his 2012 book, Israel: The Will to Prevail (Palgrave), where he sketches an ambitious and contrarian view of his country’s foreign policy. Arguing that “history shows us Israel is often better off when she acts on her own behalf … even if that means contravening the wishes of U.S. administrations,” he concludes that the Jewish state “fares best when she makes decisions based on her own best interests.” Jerusalem, he holds, should pursue its goals “with or without backing from her allies.” This argument, commonplace enough for most states, is audacious in the case of small, beleaguered Israel.

Danon’s moment may have arrived. As Netanyahu appears to be making excessive and immoral concessions to the Palestinian Authority, Danon has emerged as a leading dissident ready to challenge his prime minister (remember “lunacy”). Should Netanyahu feel no longer welcome in his own party and leave it to found a new one (following exactly in Ariel Sharon’s 2005 footsteps), Danon will be a potential candidate to lead Likud and win a subsequent election.

One sign of his rise is the invective used against him. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni coined the term “Danonism” and demanded that Netanyahu reject it. Gideon Levy, an extreme left columnist for Ha’aretz newspaper, disdainfully but fearfully writes that “little Danny Danon will be big, the sugar of the Israeli right. … [he] will go far.”

Looked at in historical perspective, since the taciturn but principled Yitzhak Shamir left the prime ministry in 1992, his six successors variously engaged in political betrayal, ethical corruption, and delusional egotism. Sharon (2001-06) abandoned his electoral mandate to the point that he had to flee his own party, even as his financial shenanigans had him in constant trouble with the law. Ehud Olmert (2006-09) had to resign due to a cloud of corruption charges. Focused on the Iranian threat, Netanyahu did well since 2009 but his recent offer of 104 murderers disturbingly contradicts the electoral platform of a half year ago.

Exclusive Audio From 19th Annual Tisha B’Av Walk Around the Old City

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai presents exclusive audio from the 19th Annual Tisha B’Av walk around the Old City Walls. Interviewees include Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin, Professor Aryeh Eldad, Dominican Friar and Yishai’s friend Erik Ross, Director of the Israel Land Fund Aryeh King, and many more! Listen in and get inspired!

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Danon Wins Internal Likud Election, Next Victory on the Way

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

On Tuesday, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon overwhelmingly won the elections for chairman of the Likud party convention. The position is mostly symbolic, but indicates strong support within the party.

Prime Minister originally planned to directly challenge Danon for the position, but withdrew his candidacy when he saw that Danon was likely to win.

On Sunday, elections will be held for the head of the Likud Central Committee, where Danon is also the leading candidate. His opponents are Michael Fuah, a Moshe Feiglin ally, and Ness Ziona mayor Yossi Shavo.

Danon has been an outspoken advocate for Judea and Samaria, and opposing the two-state solution. Whereas Prime Minister Netanyahu has been calling for negotiations with the Palestinians and a demilitarized Palestinian state.

Danon says he wants to reanimate, revitalize and restore the Likud’s ideology to the party.

Simultaneously, he reassured Prime Minister Netanyahu that he doesn’t plan to undermine Netanyahu, as that the Likud is loyal to its leaders. Danon said the Left have had a dozen different leaders since 1948, while the Likud has only had four.

But, as chair of the Likud Central Committee, Danon will have the power to fight and perhaps block Netanyahu’s diplomatic initiatives which he and most Likud party members disagree with.

Following Lapid-Bennett Deal, Likud Facing Civil War

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

At 12:55 PM Wednesday, the prime minister’s office leaked a message so subversive and so clever, it insisted the editor of the 1 PM news edition at Kol Israel attribute it to anonymous “Likud circles.” That’s one notch below “senior Likud officials” and well below “circles close to the prime minister,” which is, basically, the prime minister. I heard it in my car, driving up to Jerusalem, but didn’t pay attention to the special wording. Maariv’s Shalom Yerushalmi paid attention, and realized the PM people were using the Atomic option.

The Likud circles, according to the leak, threatened that if there won’t be a breakthrough in the coalition negotiations within hours, the Likud would initiate an accelerated negotiations with the Haredi parties for a right-leaning new government without Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party.

In addition, a higher level source inside the PM’s circles, told Haaretz that Netanyahu believes the reason Lapid has upped the ante of his demands was his buyer’s remorse. Somehow he ended up agreeing to the Finance portfolio, and now, seeing the mess he would have to deal with, he wants to back out, so he’s making it impossible to come to an agreement.

That’s not such an outlandish surmise. Lapid, ever the glitzy charmer, had had his heart set on the Foreign Minister’s job. And he would have made a great FM, kissing hands and raising champagne glasses and all the other fun stuff FMs get to do in Paris, London, Rome, DC, and, of course, Moscow.

Except Avigdor Liberman, Netanyahu’s faction partner, already had dibs on the Foreign Ministry. Liberman couldn’t serve in the government for now, not until the silly corruption suit against him is resolved in court. But Bibi had promised Ivet to hold on to the seat for him, and breaking that promise would have been a deal killer all around.

So Lapid backed off and agreed to take another of the top three portfolios—Finance.

Customarily, the Foreign, Defense and Finance ministries belong to the party of the Prime Minister. It is a rare occurrence, usually driven by a national crisis (such as when Moshe Dayan was invited, from the opposition benches, to become Defense Minister in 1967). So, giving Lapid this high honor was a big thing.

But the job of Finance Minister is not going to make Lapid many friends this time around. No hand kissing and champagne here for the teen idol. The Netanyahu government has accrued a 40 billion shekel (just under $11 billion) deficit which has to be cut from the next budget. Unlike the U.S. government, which can run deficits in the trillion, Israeli governments are prohibited by law from running a deficit that’s higher than 3 percent of the budget. The new deficit constitutes 5.10 percent, and so some cutting has to take place.

And lover boy Yair Lapid will have the dubious honor of deciding what gets cut:

Should it be the new raises to hospital nurses? Low-cost education? Environmental improvements? Social Security benefit increases for the elderly? Highway construction? Train service?

There’s no two ways about it – in the end, someone is going to hate Yair Lapid for whatever cut he’ll make. And since he’s an avowed free market and anti-tax type, he won’t be able to fix things by taking more money from business (although Teva, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical conglomerate, received close to a billion dollars in tax break from the outgoing Finance Minister – that should pay for a few hot lunches).

The leak was a lie, of course, Lapid seems just as eager as before to embrace the, arguably, second most important job in government. But the first anonymous threat, about a coalition with Shas, UTJ and Bennett – especially when, reportedly, backed by Bennett himself, who assured Lapid he intended to stay in government, with or without him – that convinced Lapid it was time to call the game and put the cards on the table.

There’s an old Jewish joke about a shadchan who tries to convince a yeshiva bocher to marry Princess Margaret. He answers every one of the poor man’s questions – she would make a great wife, she has money, she will convert for the right man – until the yeshiva bocher breaks down and agrees to the deal. At which point the shadchan sighs deeply and says: Now starts the hard part.

Political Stars MK Danny Danon & Jeremy Gimpel – Likud? Jewish Home?

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai is joined by MK Danny Danon of the Likud and Rabbi Jeremy Gimpel of the Bayit Yehudi parties. First, Yishai interviews MK Danon and the kick off discussing Danon’s thoughts on the leadership of Prime Minister of Benjamin Netanyahu and how he needs to ensure that a two-state solution does not happen. Danon moves on to give his alternate view of the concept of settlement and also talk about Danon’s harsh criticism of MK Haneen Zoabi for choosing to be a crewmember of an anti-Israeli flotilla. They end by discussing the changing relationship between Israel and the United States.

Following the interview with MK Danon, Yishai presents a recent interview with Knesset hopeful Rabbi Jeremy Gimpel of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party. Gimpel discusses how his party is not only considered by many to be the up and coming party within the Knesset, especially among younger voters but also is the youngest party in regards to the age of the members running for office. Yishai and Gimpel end by talking about the need for a true Zionist party in Israel and why Bayit Yehudi is exactly that.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
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Likud’s Pro-Settlements Shooting Star Hints He Wants Housing Ministry

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Likud Member of Knesset Danny Danon said on saturday night that in the next government, the ministry of housing and construction, which oversees and provides assistance for new construction, including in Judea and Samaria should be held by a Likud member.

To that end, voters should give the Likud as many mandates as possible, as that will make it easier for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to keep the portfolio within the party. It is currently held by Ariel Attias of the Shas party.

Danon’s comments were made at the Member of Knesset’s victory-Chanukah party in Rishon Letzion, which was attended by hundreds of Likud members and activists who supported Danon in recent Likud primaries.

Surprising many, Danon, who is considered one of the most nationalist members of the Likud, ranked fifth in the primaries among Likud candidates for the Knesset. After the merger of the Likud and Yisrael Beitenu’s list of candidate for the Knesset, Danon is number nine.

Normally, Knesset Members who rank so high in a party are considered for positions in the cabinet if the party forms or is part of the government.

Danon could be indicating what ministry he would prefer to hold in the next government.

However, despite his success in the recent primaries, Danon, has often clashed with Netanyahu, making it less likely that Netanyahu will offer him a ministry.

In addition, there has been speculation that Netanyahu will want to provide ministerial positions to Likud members who are part of the current government, but did not rank high in the Likud primaries. These include Minister of the Treasury Yuval Steinitz as well as several members who ranked so low in the Likud primaries they are not likely to appear in the next Knesset at all, Benny Begin, Michael Eitan and Dan Meridor.

Current Likud ministers, Minister of Education Gideon Sa’ar, Minister of Environmental Protection Gilad Erdan, Minister of Transportation Yisrael Katz, Minister for the Development of the Galilee and the Negev Silvan Shalom, Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon, all ranked in the top ten in the Likud’s primaries and are all expected to receive portfolios in the next government.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/pro-settlements-likud-shooting-star-hints-he-wants-housing-ministry/2012/12/09/

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