Danny Danon: "People understand we are fighting a vicious organization"

Former Israeli Ambassador to the UN speaks about the road ahead in dealing with Hamas.

Yoni Kempinski ,

Danny Danon
Danny Danon
Arutz Sheva

While much of the international mainstream media seems to be parroting Hamas’s lies, many world leaders and especially foreign ministers are supporting Israel and Danny Danon credits this support to years of hard work by Israeli politicians and diplomats.

Danon, Israeli’s former ambassador to the UN and the chairman of World Likud, joining Arutz Sheva in its Jerusalem studio, explained that for years Israel has embarked on a mission to explain to world leaders that Hamas is a terrorist organization.

“Israel worked really hard to get to this point,” he said.

Building on that, in 2017 Danon and Nikki Haley, former US ambassador to the UN, presented in the General Assembly a resolution condemning Hamas which received a majority of votes.

“Today, people understand we are fighting a vicious organization,” Danon explained.

He added that another big factor in the support for Israel’s campaign against Hamas is “the sophisticated work of the IDF.”

“We do our best to minimize civilian casualties. We actually call people before we attack a building in Gaza. It allows us more time, more manoeuvring in terms of diplomacy.”

During the latest call from US President Joe Biden to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Biden again reiterated that he supports Israel but it’s time to stop firing and implement a ceasefire agreement.

Danon said that Israel needs to make its own decision about when it’s appropriate to stop firing. “We respect the people of the United States and the strong bond between Israel and the United States but in the end we should take the decisions according to what is important for us. I think that’s what Prime Minister Netanyahu said after that conversation.”

How does a democratic nation like Israel implement a ceasefire with a terrorist group like Hamas?

Danon said that thinking of an “agreement” is not the right term. There aren’t the usual negotiations, draft agreements and so on you would have with two state actors.

“There will be an understanding that there will be no missiles and rockets firing into Israel and there will be no attacks going from Israel into Gaza,” he said.

Danon has been explaining Israel’s point of view and countering Hamas propaganda every night in interviews. “Every night I spend hours explaining our position to all the networks. The hostile ones like Al Jazeera, BBC, Sky News – and you have to face lies. And I argue with them, (ask) them how come you accept the narrative of Hamas?”

He explained that “when you stick to the facts you can win the war.”

But he said that Israel is losing the war on the social media front. “(We) have to do a better job spreading our side on social media. That’s a crucial aspect in today’s PR campaign.”

He also said that humanitarian aid to Gaza, for rebuilding, that is being talked about by Egypt and Turkey and the EU should be linked with Hamas returning the bodies of soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul who were kidnapped by Hamas in 2014, as a rally this week outside the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem demanded.

“We have to tell them that with all due respect we have our own humanitarian issues. If you want to build Gaza again, start by returning the bodies of our boys.”

If a ceasefire is reached with Hamas but a rocket or several are launched from Gaza every once in a while, as happened in the past, how should Israel respond?

“I think we should have zero tolerance. If that would happen we should target the Hamas leaders personally,” Danon said.

Danon is hopeful that the Biden administration will be different than the Obama administration when it comes to support for Israel.

“I hope so, and I believe it will be different,” he said. “What we saw in the last few days the support we received we should not take it for granted. We should appreciate it.”

On the other hand, he said language by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US ambassador to the UN, equating Israel with Hamas as “two sides” is hugely problematic.

“There are not ‘two sides’ to the conflict. You have a terrorist organization and you have the State of Israel,” he said. “When Al Qaeda attacked the US on 9/11 nobody spoke about the ‘two sides.’”

Danon said that Democratic politicians in Congress should be reminded of this fact, especially the far left Squad members like AOC.

“Radical leaders in the Democratic Party that are supporting Hamas (should be reminded) that Hamas is the only organization that actually supported Al Qaeda on 9/11.”