Report: Danon’s term as Israeli UN ambassador extended 6 months

Foreign Ministry officials say the decision was made because of the ambassador’s “exceptional success.”

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has extended the term of Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, by six months, reported Arutz Sheva Wednesday.

Foreign Ministry officials confirmed that Danon will stay on until February 2019 instead of coming home in September, since the prime minister is very pleased with his work. It is a significant vote of confidence that testifies to Danon’s “exceptional success during one of the more problematic periods for Israel in the organization,” they told Arutz Sheva.

When Danon was appointed in August 2015, it was to be for three years with an option of extending his service an additional year. Already in June 2017, at the two-year mark, Danon had reportedly asked senior aides to the prime minister to help persuade him to let him stay on as UN ambassador for a fourth year.

Danon, said the report, would consider this excellent timing for his future political aspirations, as Netanyahu could very well call for early elections instead of waiting until his term is up late next year. This possibility has been raised for reasons connected to possible indictments in the offing from several cases against him currently under consideration by the attorney general.

Danon would then be able to parlay his recent accomplishments as a UN ambassador to shoot for a high-ranking, senior ministerial position.

Danon’s achievements at the UN include becoming the first Israeli to serve as Deputy President of the General Assembly, and his close working relationship with US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who is extremely popular in Israel for her vocal defense of the Jewish state in the Security Council as well as other UN forums.

Another senior Israeli diplomat in America – Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer – is also at the tail end of his appointment, as it is supposed to finish by September 30. According to a March report in The Jerusalem Post, however, he has made it clear that five years on the job is enough.

Considering the trust that the prime minister has in him, though, a diplomatic source told the paper that if Jared Kushner stays on as adviser to the president on the Middle East, and the peace plan he has worked on for so long is finally presented to the parties in conflict, Netanyahu would not want to send someone new to Washington at such a delicate time.