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Genocide or forced transfer; Danon’s choice of colonial propaganda at the UN

June 11, 2024 at 7:30 pm

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon in New York, US on 24 July 2018 [EuropaNewswire/Gado/Getty Images]

“In the face of the diplomatic terror that rears its head these days, I am obliged to present the truth for the sake of the people of Israel and our common future in our homeland,” was Danny Danon’s response to being appointed Israel ambassador to the UN for a second time.

It is, of course, the Palestinians who are facing “diplomatic terror”, as well as colonial aggression and genocide because their legitimate right to all forms of struggle have been bludgeoned into oblivion by the UN and Israel and its powerful allies. Presenting the truth, though, has never been on the agenda for Israeli officials, Danon included.

Consider this, for example:

In order to rescue four hostages from Gaza, Israel killed 274 Palestinian civilians and wounded almost 700 more.

And not a single killing toll since 7 October has been cruel or murderous enough for the international community to end its futile statements and halt the genocide instead. Not even the daily updated casualty toll that now surpasses 37,000 Palestinians killed by Israel and well over 80,000 wounded.

READ: Spain Premier: ‘Gaza’s humanitarian catastrophe is seriously undermining international law’

Danon will certainly have an easy time at the UN defending Israel’s actions. All he will need to do is polish his theatrical skills, as all Israeli diplomats are well trained to do. The UN, on the other hand, has decades of experience in promoting Israeli colonialism and violence. Unfortunately, it is doing a good job with regard to genocide as well.

No longer can the UN claim even the slightest pretence of protecting human rights.

The Times of Israel compiled a list of some of Danon’s recent statements, one of which suggests that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres should be considered persona non grata globally. According to Danon, Guterres walks a fine line acting as “spokesman for the UN or a spokesman for Hamas”. Never mind that Hamas is ostracised internationally and its election victory in 2006 was sabotaged by Israel, the international community and two-state politics. If Israel suggests that the UN Secretary General is a spokesman for Hamas, that statement in itself becomes a weapon in Israel’s disseminated settler-colonial narratives.

Away from the usual spiteful drivel, Danon’s prominence as one of the Israeli officials promoting the so-called voluntary migration of Palestinians should not be forgotten. While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had made a statement in January that there is no intention of permanent displacement, these genocidal months only illustrated that Israel always intended, and has carried out, much more than displacement. The question is if, or when, Netanyahu deems this genocide to be over, what happens to the remaining Palestinians in Gaza? And if Netanyahu decides that an ongoing genocide is the way forward to colonise Gaza completely, how will Danon and his “voluntary migration” concoction be received at the UN? Either way, Israel has stretched the parameters beyond limits and it is up to the international community to hold Israel, and itself, to account.

Will the UN, as it has always done, look for the lesser evil? And in what way will it calculate this? By looking at the genocide tally and comparing it with that of a possible forced expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza? The UN has always created a space where Israel’s violence thrives separately in a normalised manner, rather than the many strands of colonial violence woven together. If the UN won’t stop genocide in Gaza, will it step up to stop Danon’s version of ethnic cleansing disguised as safe refuge?

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