Danny Danon, Hardline 'King' of Israel's Likud, Vows To Block Two-State Deal

New Party Boss Seeks To Block Netanyahu From Going Soft

getty images

By Nathan Jeffay

Published July 08, 2013, issue of July 12, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

As Secretary of State John Kerry desperately tries to kick-start a renewal of negotiations for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, a newly crowned King of Likud is intent on sabotaging its realization.

Internal Likud elections held in late June underscored an emergent paradox: While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists that he is interested in pursuing a two-state solution that would create a Palestinian state, by some reports on as much as 90% of the West Bank, he’s being sidelined within his own party by a man who has left no doubt that his aim is to build the party as a barricade against a peace deal.

“The Likud party is still the party of the national camp of Israel, still the party that believes we have rights to the land in Judea and Samaria, and I think that the majority of the party still isn’t supporting the idea that there will be a Palestinian state in our backyard,” said Danny Danon, Israel’s outspoken deputy defense minister, who became chairman of Likud’s central committee after the June internal elections.

Danon, who replaced a Netanyahu ally, has embarrassed the prime minister repeatedly with comments that openly flout the government’s official line on peace negotiations. In an interview with the Forward, Danon’s first international media interview since assuming the party leadership role, Danon did not back away from his positions.

“I understand the importance of political power, so I will use my strength and influence to convince as many people as I can within the party and outside the party that a Palestinian state is bad news for Israel,” he told the Forward.

Danon is no outlier. In the recent Likud elections, all the major positions in the party infrastructure went to Likudniks significantly to Netanyahu’s right — some of whom propose the annexation of large parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. This political dissonance could, in the event of a peace process breakthrough, catapult internal Likud politics to international center stage from a domestic game of political inside baseball.

Danon himself is resolute that any peace proposal must go for a vote before the central committee — and he is “sure” that the party won’t accept any deal that matches the international community’s expectations for a two-state solution, namely one based broadly on 1967 borders and involving a division of Jerusalem.

During his interview, which took place July 2 in his Knesset office, Danon tried to maintain a restrained tone regarding his ideological foe Netanyahu, saying that they will cooperate for the good of the party. But with what seemed to be a pointedly chosen reminiscence, he explained his desire for “political power” — and implied that his eagerness to become a lawmaker in the first place stemmed from a need to stop Netanyahu from making concessions.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • Despite the escalating violence in Israel, more and more Jews are leaving their homes in Alaska to make aliyah: http://jd.fo/g4SIa
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.