Ambassador Danny Danon
Ambassador Danny DanonFlash 90

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Danny Danon spoke with Arutz Sheva about the Palestinian Authority's claims that Israel is harming them during the coronavirus outbreak.

"I'm not surprised, but it's definitely disappointing," Danon said. "While the entire world joins hands and cooperates to fight this dangerous virus, the Palestinians are going back to their natural behaviors - anti-Semitism, anti-Israelism, and baseless mud-slinging - and trying to use the situation to gain political points. I exposed their true face, and I told the Palestinian representative that he should be ashamed of himself."

"My message was very clear: The Palestinians need to choose. If they want to continue receiving coronavirus aid, they need to stop the incitement."

Danon also said that the Security Council was very attentive to the Israeli stance. "Most countries congratulated the cooperation between us and the Palestinian Authority (PA), and I also spoke about our desire to help and aid them in reducing the scope of the outbreak in the PA and Gaza."

"On the issue of Palestinian incitement, they called to end the incitement, but practically speaking, the US and Israel are helping the Palestinians and are in the process of introspection, deciding whether to continue transferring funding and equipment to the Palestinians if they continue their horrific mud-slinging against us - mud-slinging which includes lies that I don't even know where they come from."

Regarding the UN's reaction to Israel's plan to apply sovereignty to Judea and Samaria, Danon said: "We are hearing mostly their worries regarding the interest in advancing the application of sovereignty - a process which appears in the coalition agreements, together with a deadline. The UN representatives, the European Union, and other countries, have said that they are worried. We did not respond to this issue yet, because we are waiting for the government's decision, which will be made in coordination with the Americans."

"To my friends in Jerusalem, I say: Do what is best for the State of Israel. We will deal with the consequences in the international arena over here."

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the UN is not currently busy with attempts to foil the application of sovereignty. "There are no initiatives, but people are paying attention. We hear the European Union and countries from it speaking out in opposition, together with the Palestinian Authority, obviously, which is trying to scare us. But because everyone is busy right now with the coronavirus crisis, it's not really a priority. I believe that immediately after the crisis ends, this issue will return to the table, and it could also be that we will see actions against the process."

The UN, as well as the Security Council and other councils, are still functioning, but via the internet. "Most of the work is done virtually, and it's different. On the one hand, it's good because meetings are shorter and anti-Israel statements are more moderate. On the other hand, diplomacy by nature is about people meeting and interacting, and these things, in the existing reality in New York, cannot happen."

Danon's term at the UN has been extended several times, but in July, he is scheduled to return to Israel. "We hope that this crisis will end soon and we will be able to organize our return to Israel this summer. There are still no concrete plans for what happens next. Obviously, I will continue to be active in the public arena and my experience and connections, which I have created over the past five intense years at the UN, will be at the service of the State of Israel."

An additional diplomatic position, however, "is not currently on the table," he added.