The Art Of Diplomacy Does Not Reside In Danny Danon, And Yet Israel Wants To Send Him Here As A Diplomat

Australia should distance itself from the diplomatic embarrassment of Danny Danon, writes Micaela Sahhar.

There is a long history of unequivocal support in Australia for Israel. The Australian politician, Doc Evatt, did much to further Israeli independence and recognition of Israel as president of the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.

But despite this history, and the parallels between the two states drawn by successive Israeli ambassadors to Australia and Australian Members of Parliament, there are some very good reasons why Australia should reject the appointment of the next proposed Israeli ambassador to Australia, Danny Danon.

While Israel’s Netanyahu government is right leaning, Danon is surely to the far right of that, entreating Israelis to express pride in being ‘anti Palestinian state’ and side-lining discussion of the internationally supported two-state solution, remarking simply ‘I do not believe in it’.

As Deputy Defence Minister in 2013, Danon flouted diplomatic rhetoric altogether, stating: “the international community can say whatever they want, and we can do whatever we want”.

Australia, like Israel, has a history of violence and suppression of its Indigenous people. But unlike Israel, Australia has made steps towards acknowledging this reality. It is 12-years since Kevin Rudd made a landmark apology to Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

While its limitations are apparent, the speech also highlighted that an historic recognition was required. Rudd acknowledged both the significance of Aboriginal peoples as having ‘the oldest continuing cultures in human history’ as well as the ‘wrongs of the past’.

Read the article by Micaeala Sahhar in New Matilda.