Daily Israel Report

Danon Warns: Referendum Idea is Dangerous

Dep. Defense Minister says nationalists are wrong to rely on the promise that no land will be ceded without a referendum.
By Ari Yashar, Arutz Sheva Staff
First Publish: 1/1/2014, 1:29 PM

Danny Danon and Binyamin Netanyahu
Danny Danon and Binyamin Netanyahu
Flash 90

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon (Likud) has begun a campaign to dissuade the nationalist camp from relying on a national referendum to prevent a peace deal involving irresponsible cession of land. According to Danon, new elections should be held to stop a peace deal, not a referendum.

A bill was passed in July requiring a national referendum on any final status agreement with the Palestinian Authority (PA), amid ongoing peace talks.

Danon told Arutz Sheva that "a national referendum is a means for allowing the government to advance discussion on core problematic issues while preserving the government and the coalition."

"In this way a referendum gives an alibi to wide sections of the Likud and the coalition, to rely on a referendum to determine their positions and activities against such issues," asserted  Danon.

The Deputy Minister claimed the democratic nature of a national referendum is being mistakenly portrayed, and called instead for elections.

"A process as important as the peace deal was not brought up before the elections and didn't appear on party platforms," remarked Danon, "and therefore holding new elections to let the public make its voice and trust known, in accordance with party platforms, is totally justified."

"There's an attempt here to put faith in something that sounds democratic but in actuality allows withdrawal from essential portions of the land of Israel," argued Danon. "Knesset elections are the true referendum ."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the chairman of Danon's Likud party, has declared time and again that any peace deal will need to pass a national referendum.

"We must look on the one side at those who advance the deal, like Netanyahu, and supporters of conciliatory positions who agree to referendums, and on the other side those who oppose the deal and are for the referendum. One of the two sides is mistaken," asserted Danon.

When asked how he explains the fact that there are those in the nationalist camp who support a referendum, Danon remarked: "Elements in the Right don't understand that a referendum, when the nationalist camp is in power, doesn't serve the nationalist camp, but could be an extra security valve in case the nationalist camp is not in power."

On Monday, Danon spoke at a Likud party meeting, where he opposed US plans and their entailed Israeli withdrawals. "The Jordan Valley is a part of the state of Israel, and whoever thinks otherwise apparently is in the wrong party," declared Danon.