Everything in Israel attracts undue media attention. So often there is extreme, inaccurate media coverage against Israel in a biased manner. Reporting is often done without any context as to the region Israel is a part of, and comparisons are made without any comparative scales.
This weekend, we saw the media spotlight on internal elections of the Likud Party, the center-right party whose Chairman is currently Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Danny Danon, a 42-year-old rising star who is the current Deputy Defense Minister for the State of Israel, was elected as head of the Likud Central Committee, the governing body of the political party. It should be a relative non-event for the international media, yet of course it wasn’t. (Who knows the name of even one of the 100,000 Syrians who have been killed in the war there; imagine the daily pictures and name-dropping we would see if even a few Israelis were killed, g-d forbid, in a civil war?)
Naturally, since it’s Israel and the Jews, international media outlets have used inaccurate language when it comes to Danny Danon. While he is a regular commentator to news programs, this weekend with his victory, reporters maligned him. Agence France Press (AFP) called Danon ¨a key figure of the radical right¨ and the Associated Press described him as a ¨hard-liner.”
In a region where in many countries, gays are stoned to death, women can’t vote or drive, and churches are burnt, one might be led to think Danon had these extreme views. Throughout Europe, whether in Greece or Italy, one sees “right-wing radicals” leading mobs through the streets.
Contrast that to Danon, a soft-spoken ideologue who is a vocal proponent of freedom of worship for all religions, outspoken on women’s rights and a firm proponent that there shouldn’t be undue religious involvement in politics. Find me any other right-wing radical in any other Middle East country with views remotely close to these.
As CEO of 5WPR, I can say firsthand that Danon is media savvy, having hosted visiting politicians and dignitaries to Israel, and has written a book in English, “Israel: The Will to Prevail,” which dared to criticize President Barack Obama. He is married to a woman who was born and raised in Canada, is the father of three and his father is an Israeli war hero.
Danon is a vocal proponent of the Jewish right to live in all areas of the Land of Israel. Anywhere else in the world if someone tells Jews where they can’t live its racism. Why can’t Jews live in Hebron or Ariel? Can blacks live in Beverly Hills or Chinese people in Tokyo?
As a public relations executive, I know well that unlike many politicians Danon tells the truth. He has said that there will not be a Palestinian State within the 1967 borders – and the world has condemned these words. While the Palestinian Authority primarily controls certain areas of the “West Bank,” and Hamas, areas of Gaza, they aren’t on agreeable terms. One wonders what was so “radical”? With whom should Israel even negotiate? (Not withstanding that neither Hamas nor the PA is a suitable peace partner.)
Danny Danon lived in South Florida for a number of years as an emissary of the Jewish agency. He is a fervent supporter of free-market enterprise, of a strong and secure Israel that opposes Islamic extremists worldwide. Undoubtedly, these interests are beneficial to America’s best interests in the region.
While American media celebrated the Egyptian revolution, which saw the Muslim Brotherhood come to power, perhaps kid gloves should instead be applied to the Jewish state. Indeed, strong Israeli politicians who stand against Muslim extremism aren’t just in the best interest of Israel – they are also in the best interest of the United States of America. There is nothing radical at all about Israel’s desire to be strong and secure.
The author has been a friend and colleague of Danny Danon’s for more than 20 years.
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