Then U.S. President Barack Obama former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2016. (Menahem Kahana, Pool via AP, File) Menahem Kahana, Pool via AP, File
Obama

“We did good things with President Obama,” recalls former Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, which “crashed” amid Obama’s “shameful resolution in the Security Council

By United with Israel Staff

During their terms in office, it was no secret that there was friction between former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and ex-U.S. President Barack Obama. While the U.S. remained Israel’s top ally during this period, concessions were requested from the Jewish state vis-a-vis Iran and the Palestinians that many Israelis deemed an existential threat.

A new book by former Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon sheds light on his tenure at the United Nations, where he served as Permanent Representative until 2020.

In The Lion’s Den: Israel And The World also delves into the Netanyahu-Obama dynamic, examining the source of alleged animosity on the part of the American president toward his Israeli counterpart.

Obama’s hostility reached a crescendo immediately before the end of his term with the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which demanded that Israel stop building Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria and portions of its capital, Jerusalem. The resolution passed based on the U.S.’ abstention from voting, an unprecedented step that represented a diplomatic betrayal of the Jewish state of the highest order.

“At that point I felt like I was alone against the entire world. Usually it’s us against the Palestinians or the EU, sometimes,” recalls Danon in an excerpt published by the UK’s Jewish Chronicle. “But here I was sitting in the Security Council fighting against the U.S. and all our allies. That was the hardest moment in my public life.”

In the book, Danon calls Obama’s UN campaign against Israel “cowardly.”

Shortly after Resolution 2334 passed, an Egyptian news report corroborated statements by Israeli leaders that the U.S. helped draft the anti-Israel resolution and discussed ways to ensure it would pass.

Specifically, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with senior Palestinian officials to help draft the wording, in addition to other behind-the-scenes maneuvering.

With regard to the role Obama played in this episode and his posture toward Netanyahu, Danon states in his book, “I think it was mostly personal, between Obama and Netanyahu. I think Obama wanted to be the one who made the last call.”

Danon adds, “It was unfortunate and I think it was a mistake because we did good things with President Obama, but nobody really remembers them. They crashed the minute he put forward that shameful resolution in the Security Council.”