Just before the deadline at midnight Monday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced he would extend the tenure of Israel’s United Nations Ambassador Danny Danon a second time, after all.
Danon’s last day would have been Tuesday, had Netanyahu chosen not to extend his tenure — which was the direction he was going in — but his queries about his authority to make an appointment for a successor went unanswered right up to the last minute.
Danon’s “number two,” Israeli Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Noa Furman, was to have served in his stead until his successor was to have been announced.
Netanyahu had contacted Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan to ask if he would be willing to serve in the post, but Erdan courteously declined the offer.
With no choice other than to leave Israel without an experienced senior diplomat in the UN post — dangerous at best — Netanyahu renewed Danon’s tenure.
Danon’s term had already been extended once, this past summer.
At least part of the reason for this situation has to do with Netanyahu’s own status as the head of an interim government facing an unprecedented third round of elections within the same year.
The prime minister had asked Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit earlier in the year if he is authorized to make a permanent appointment to the position given the current situation, but has yet to receive a response to the query.
Israel is currently facing a number of serious challenges in the international arena, particularly within the circle of United Nations agencies and organizations. Among them are the announcement of an investigation by the International Criminal Court at The Hague into suspected war crimes committed in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and eastern Jerusalem, as well as the threat of publication of a highly-disputed blacklist of international businesses – including those from Israel — operating in eastern Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria.
Reports on both are expected to be published sometime within the next month or two.