EXCLUSIVE: Israel’s mentality is to recover from challenges
(From December 4, 2020, edition of the Jewish Telegraph)
ISRAEL’S ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon, has told the Jewish Telegraph that collaboration is key for a post-Covid world.
He was speaking ahead of the DiploTech Global Summit 2020: Israeli Innovation, Our Collective Future on Wednesday.
Headed by former American ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and Mr Danon, it will include world leaders, heads of states, ministers of foreign affairs, policy makers and diplomats who will meet with industry experts, investors and innovators for the first global summit of its kind, taking place in Tel Aviv.
The summit will discuss how our new world can best overcome the biggest global challenges and proactively prepare for a post-Covid world and collective sustainable future, where innovation and technology will play an even greater role.
Mr Danon said: “The Covid crisis has highlighted the necessity and importance of technology for Israel and the world.
“This is a conference that will showcase tomorrow’s technologies, but more importantly, it will help build bridges and create connections between Israel and the global community.
“These authentic connections will help change the lives of societies for the better in a real and tangible way.”
He added: “It was tough for us here in Israel.
“But, when you look at our history, you know, every few years we have some kind of a crisis — it might be a war or something else.
“So we are used to that, and to coming together to work together, and then to recover.
“It’s part of the Israeli mentality to face a challenge and to recover.”
Mr Danon serves as Israel’s 17th Permanent Representative to the United Nations as well as former Minister of Science and Technology, and Deputy Minister of Defence.
He is also chairman of World Likud.
He said: “We’re all praying for the vaccine, whether it’s from the UK, America, Israel . . . it’s a blessing.
“What we have to think about is the way we are going to live together in a post-Covid world, which will not be the same.
“In that world, the top priority for Israel is to get ready for the next challenge.
“We were all caught by surprise and we have to understand that it can happen again.
“We have to invest in multilateral co-operation in enhancing other international organisations and to be well prepared for for the future.”
Domestically, Israel could be set for a fourth election in two years, as former opposition leader Benny Gantz — now partner with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — backed a bill which could force the Knesset to dissolve, thus breaking up the coalition.
And while many outside Israel look on in horror at the thought of so many elections in such a short space of time, Mr Danon was more philosophical about it.
He said: “I hope we are not facing another elections, but as Winston Churchill once said ‘democracy is a bad system, but it’s the best one we have’.
“It’s choppy and it’s messy, but we appreciate the fact we have a democracy.”
Mr Danon also said he was hopeful of “more co-operation in the near future” between the UK and Israel.
He was also confident of a “warm peace” with more Middle Eastern countries.
With Israel having signed peace agreements with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, Mr Danon was certain of the next country to follow suit.
“There are more countries in the Gulf, and I think the challenge and the opportunity will be to forge relations with Saudi Arabia,” he explained