Danon denies leaving post as UN ambassador to run in Likud primaries

Earlier reports indicated that the U.N. envoy was leaving his post in order to run in the Likud primary, which he has firmly denied.

By David Jablinowitz, World Israel News

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon has denied multiple media reports that he was resigning from his post, hoping to run in the upcoming national election in April.

“On behalf of Ambassador Danon, the recent reports of his resignation are incorrect. After a decision is reached in the Knesset, he will announce his intentions.” his office said in a statement.

Before becoming Israel’s top envoy at the U.N., Danon had served as a cabinet minister, deputy minister and member of parliament on behalf of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party. He also served as a senior official within the party.

The 47-year-old Danon took on his position at the world body in October 2015. At first, he was confronted by the policies of U.S. President Barack Obama. These included a rare American green light, through abstention instead of a veto, to a Security Council resolution in December 2016 which declared that Israeli “settlements” in Judea and Samaria and east Jerusalem were illegal and demanded a halt to their construction.

At the time, Danon’s U.S. counterpart at the U.N. was Ambassador Samantha Power, who stated: “One cannot champion settlements and the two-state solution.”

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However, after Donald Trump became U.S. president, Danon joined forces with Ambassador Nikki Haley, who declared that there was a “new sheriff in town” and decried the U.N.’s “bias” against Israel.

Danon and Haley believe that they made progress in countering an anti-Israel atmosphere, but earlier this month, a resolution condemning Hamas, which was presented by the U.S. to the General Assembly, fell short of the required two-thirds majority and failed to pass.

Haley earlier announced her intention to resign at the end of December.

During Danon’s term, Israel has made progress in gaining a higher standing at the world body. In May 2017, Danon was elected as a vice president of the General Assembly.

Other moves included Israel’s acceptance to the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and the adoption by the General Assembly of an Israeli resolution on agricultural technologies for sustainable development.

Danon’s tenure thus far also saw the convening by Israel of the first-ever international summit at the U.N. against the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement, or BDS.

In addition, two Israeli NGOs, ZAKA and Access Israel, received consultative status at the U.N., and Yom Kippur was recognized as an official U.N. holiday.