By Ramona Wadi
Israel’s outgoing Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, is not leaving the arena without his usual, unfounded claim that the international community is subservient to the Palestinian narrative. In a recent item in the Jerusalem Post, Danon cautioned against calling Israel’s plan to formalize its land theft “annexation”. To substantiate his claim, he quoted former Israeli Prime Minister and wanted terrorist Menachem Begin: “You can annex foreign territory. You can’t annex your own country.”
Mixing Biblical narratives with politics, Danon stated that it was British policy to establish “a Jewish national home in Palestine”, thus proving the Zionist colonial trajectory, rather than any claims to the land. The European colonial ideology which set up a settler-colonial entity in Palestine has no roots in indigenous territory and erasing Palestinians from their land does not make the European colonizers in Palestine in any way indigenous.
According to Danon, “Those who decry it as ‘annexation’ are doing nothing more than appeasing the Palestinian narrative and making peace ever more elusive. This puts them, to use their words, on the wrong side of history.”
In another article for the Jewish Insider, Danon echoed the America Israel Public Affairs Committee’s recommendations to criticize Israel but not issue “threats”, with direct reference to a letter by Democratic lawmakers to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which recommended the conditioning and withholding of US financial aid for Israel if annexation is implemented.
The ongoing efforts to justify Israeli violations of international law clearly indicate the seriousness of annexation. Danon claims that history and international law are on Israel’s side. They aren’t; unfortunately, though, the international community is.
The UN is to blame for the way that Palestinian history and narratives have been relegated to annual commemorations, thus communicating overtly that as far as the international body is concerned, Palestinians are just a trophy item on its agenda. With such silent diplomacy and one with which the Palestinian Authority is in complete concordance, it is an easy task for Israeli representatives to manipulate history and international law based upon collective inaction when it comes to Palestinian rights.
History has documented Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine; it is a fact, as is its normalisation by the international community. Danon has had enough experience at the UN to know that any purported support for Palestinians’ political rights is meaningless and that Israel can get away with anything, including war crimes because the international community allows it to determine by itself what constitutes a violation of international law. Israel, though, believes that it is incapable of violating international law because the colonial state’s own legislation justifies crimes, which international laws and conventions prohibit.
Moreover, Israel’s depiction as a democracy within the international arena ensures that the UN will never consider the realities of its colonial violence, let alone recognize the fact that Palestinians are within their rights to resist occupation as part of an anti-colonial struggle. Undoubtedly, Danon would prefer to have a debate about whether the land theft should be called annexation or reclamation, the latter being another example of Zionist sophistry.
This would eliminate any scrutiny of the fact that Israel is formalizing annexation without so much as a collective warning from the international community, despite the UN’s posturing and pontificating about international law. Danon and his fallacious claims have exposed the fact that the organization has effectively abandoned Palestine and the Palestinians.
– Ramona Wadi is a staff writer for Middle East Monitor, where this article was originally published. She contributed this article to the Palestine Chronicle.