Middle East Monitor / August 6, 2020
After five years as Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon has been appointed as the Zionist state’s Ambassador to Australia, although he still awaits official approval. Do the Australians know, I wonder, that back in 2011 Danon expressed anti-migrant sentiment and suggested to an Australian MP visiting Israel that African refugees should be sent to his country. “The refugees’ place is not among us, and the initiative to transfer them to Australia is the right and just solution,” he declared, adding that such a move would allow Israel to retain its Jewish demographic majority.
If approved, Danon’s appointment is unlikely to bode well for the Palestinian people. Australia and Israel will strengthen their common ground of active discrimination against their respective indigenous populations.
In his stint at the UN, Danon pushed back against the slightest mention at the international institution of colonialism and has been urging the world to refrain from threatening Israel over its annexation plans. The Biblical narrative, according to Danon, is Israel’s title deed to the land, even though it only came into existence in 1948 through the European colonial ideology of Zionism.
Instead of annexation, Danon has suggested calling the move “extending sovereignty”. Given that Australia is one of the few countries which have directly challenged the International Criminal Court’s investigations into Israeli war crimes against Palestinians, it is highly likely that Danon will find that diplomats in Australia are receptive to Israel’s next phase of its colonisation of Palestine.
Danon’s new appointment comes at a time when the media in Australia is focused upon allegations of war crimes by Australian Special Forces in Afghanistan. Impunity over war crimes committed by colonial powers and their allies have transformed such violations into privileged action, further dehumanising the colonised and invaded indigenous people. In Israel, such impunity has been perfected through a well-practiced silence following blatant lies at state level, which absolve the perpetrators of their crimes.
As a proponent of the two-state compromise, but far removed from any concern about whether the paradigm can be salvaged, given its pro-Israel stance Danon will find that he can make diplomatic inroads in Australia when it comes to promoting “extending sovereignty”. Let’s be honest, though, and call it “formalising colonialism”. The latter is a term that Australia will understand perfectly well, having its own colonial legacy to refer to in the massacres and appalling treatment of Aboriginal people in the country.
In an interview last month, Australian Ambassador to Israel Chris Canaan exploited “values” to describe diplomatic relations. “It is in our national interest to see Israel succeed as a liberal democracy in the Middle East, and Australia continues to strongly support its right to exist within secure and internationally recognised borders,” he said.
Israel has never actually declared where its borders, internationally-recognised or not, actually lie. In any case, they mean nothing when it comes to Israel’s colonisation process, for what use are such nominal borders when Israel keeps expanding its illegal presence in Palestinian territory? If Danon’s appointment is approved by Canberra, Australia will possibly play a more prominent role in blurring the concept of borders, for who needs demarcation when having two purportedly different paradigms – the two-state “solution” and US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” – serve the same purpose?
Ramona Wadi is an independent researcher, freelance journalist, book reviewer and blogger; her writing covers a range of themes in relation to Palestine, Chile and Latin America