Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon is not surprised by the recent spate of anti-Semitic incidents across the US.
"We are familiar with this phenomenon, even in the corridors of the UN. It is not a new thing for us to hear anti-Semitic comments, like the ones made by the ambassadors of Venezuela and Ecuador, who compare the IDF to the Nazi oppressors. Certainly, the latest phenomenon we see, which includes threats to Jewish Community Centers, is very disturbing and very grave. I trust the government here to know how to deal with it," Danon said in an interview with Arutz Sheva.
What do you hear from the Jewish community in New York?
"They expect strong action on this issue. We, as a Jewish state, cannot be indifferent to any case of anti-Semitism, no matter where it occurs. The things I hear on the subject are very clear, both from the government and from the American President and from other levels [of government]. They all condemn these incidents and declare that they are beyond the pale and cannot be allowed to become routine.
Is the protest against anti-Semitism also taking place in the UN?
"We turned to the new UN Secretary General with a request to appoint a Special Representative of the Organization for Combating Anti-Semitism. This is not a problem that is unique to one particular state - this is a global issue. We expect the Secretary General to appoint a a representative to use the various mechanisms of the UN to deal with the problem and to harness the various bodies for combating anti-Semitism. The Secretary-General has already strongly condemned anti-Semitism, and we want to turn that into action," Danon said.
Danon said that the time is ripe to strengthen Israel's relationship with the UN.
"We are in a period of great challenges - there is a new President in the US and a new Secretary General at the UN. This is a period which [can] lead to changes. My selection to head the judicial committee was the beginning, and we are seeing more and more achievements. We are used to constantly complaining and blaming the UN. There is plenty to complain about, but there are also many opportunities, and with the cooperation of the new US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, we can have significant achievements.
Including a place on the Security Council?
"I thin we're seeing new dynamics in the Security Council. Other countries think twice before they try to bring resolutions against Israel, because they because they understand that there is a new wind blowing in Washington, and that it reaches the UN building.
As someone who works in a place which is considered very anti-Israel, you sound very optimistic
"In my role, I have to be optimistic every day. We have a surprise for the nations of the world. If the UN ends its obsession with automatically condemning Israel, it will find a modern, democratic state, ready to assist the nations of the world."