Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the ideological father of Israel’s Likud Party imparted many great words of wisdom, but perhaps among his most important messages was his teaching that “silence is despicable.” Observers of Israeli politics might note that one of the more outspoken and brutally honest Israeli leaders today, is Danny Danon, Deputy Speaker of the Knesset who also serves as Chairman of World Likud, and is a good friend of mine.
It is that will to break the silence that is clearly reflected in Danon’s newly released, refreshingly honest, groundbreaking book, “Israel: The Will to Prevail”. Growing up as a member of the Betar movement, together with Danon, I remember spending hours with him in hot debate over Netanyahu’s early books, Prime Minister Shamir’s memoirs, The Revolt by Menachem Begin and many other issues. I find it impressive that this young 40-year politician has written a book which has the potential to make waves, and allow people to understand what nationalist Israeli politics looks like. Danon is an ideologue, a man who has spent his entire life fighting for the Jewish people – and this comes across clearly in his writing.
I wasn’t surprised that right wingers like Glenn Beck and Mike Huckabee lauded the book, but more telling perhaps are the words of Alan Dershowitz (no right-winger) who wrote: “Danny Danon has written an important and tough book about Israel’s situation in the world today.” He added: “Read it, argue with it, disagree with it-but don’t ignore it.” The book reflects past, present and future.
Like Netanyahu, Danon understands the Western mentality very well – he lived in Miami for a number of years completing his studies, and travels to the U.S. regularly on missions to encourage support for Israel. Those of us who follow Israel in the news see Danon publicly representing Israel on many vital issues – from settlements to Jewish identity to Israel’s relationship with the Diaspora. Even people with established viewpoints have something to learn from him, as the Los Angeles Jewish Journal has written: “What Danny says is what Bibi is actually thinking.”
Unlike Netanyahu (who rightfully has made no comments on the U.S. Presidential candidates), Danon minces no words when addressing the dangers of a 2nd Obama administration. He writes: “Israel and the US are family, and in families there can be disagreements.” Timing the release only a few months prior to the American elections is evidence of Danon’s savvy political skill.
American media portrays the left of Israeli politics as the center, and the center as the right, but in reality the Likud Party represents a significant percentage of the Israeli Jewish electorate. Danon is a rising star of his party and I believe that his book is necessary reading for those who are interested in the Middle East and the State of Israel. As for Danon, it seems he is just getting started.
Israel: The Will to Prevail is available for purchase on Amazon.