RA’ANANA, Israel – For months, a major question facing Washington and Jerusalem has been the decision to declare sovereignty over much of Judea and Samaria – the West bank. Some believe the opportunity has passed, but outgoing Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told CBN News there’s still time to make the historic move before September’s Jewish holidays and the United States election in November.
“The next few weeks are the crucial weeks for taking a bold decision, and you have two leaders who have to take that decision,” said Danon. The first key leader is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The second is the United States, Israel’s strongest ally.
Danon says the debate has morphed into a question of annexation, a word he calls a misnomer.
“You cannot annex something that belongs to you. When you read the Bible, you understand that Judea and Samaria, it’s part of our homeland, so you cannot annex it. We can apply sovereignty. And I think we should do it,” said Danon.
In May 2019, Danon famously addressed the UN Security Council and said Israel’s deed to the land is the Bible itself.
Yet Danon says Israel stands on more than God’s promise. He believes it also stands on international law and history. He points to the San Remo Conference of 1920 when European leaders set the stage for the establishment of a Jewish national home.
“In 1920, you have the San Remo Conference where the superpowers [are]coming together and actually acknowledging our rights to the land. And then you go back to 1945 and you see when the UN was established they actually accepted previous agreements. So, they accepted, the San Remo Conference and today, according to the UN Charter, Israel has a right to the land of Judea and Samaria,” said Danon.
Netanyahu missed his July 1 goal of declaring sovereignty and the issue divides his current Israeli coalition. The US has also expressed hesitation to greenlight the controversial move. Despite these and other challenges, Danon says it is time to act.
“Yes, we are dealing with the COVID crisis. We have a [economic] crisis. But at the same time, we have a friend in the White House. We have a friend that actually stands with us and given us the support to move forward,” said Danon. “When you do something right, you just do it. And that’s exactly what we have to do today. We cannot wait for better timing for applying sovereignty over the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.”