‘You don’t manage negotiations with a gun to the head’

January 31, 2016  

Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, denounced on Sunday a French initiative to jumpstart the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority through the convening of an international peace conference. 

The initiative was introduced Friday by Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who also leveled a threat, saying France would unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state if its efforts to try to break the deadlock between Israelis and Palestinians fail.

“They tell us ‘either you sit and come, or we determine the outcome,”’ Danon blasted in an interview with Walla! News. “This is not how you manage negotiations, with a gun to the head.” 

“We are for negotiations, there have already been negotiations that have not yielded anything,” he continued. “Not through threats will we promote peace in the Middle East. It doesn’t work like that.”

“When I got my job as ambassador to the UN, I committed to the government’s decisions,” Danon noted. “The policy is clear – to stop terror and incitement and return to negotiations – and I represent it clearly. We, unlike the Palestinians, do not set preconditions. We say ‘stop the incitement, without any connection to negotiations.'”

Danon also addressed UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s recent criticism of Hamas, arguing that while it is certainly warranted, it still does not excuse a previous remark from Ban that was widely interpreted as defending Palestinian terror. 

“As oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism,” Ban was quoted as saying in a recent UN Security Council meeting. 

“The Prime Minister and I both reacted sharply against that statement,” Danon noted, “and we hope that Ban Ki-moon will understand that terror is terror is terror.”

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