Absorption Minister Ze'ev Elkin (Likud) dismissed on Sunday rampant leftist criticism to Danny Danon's recent appointment as Israel's United Nations Ambassador.
"This is an appointment that was always on the agenda," Elkin asserted during an interview with Army Radio. "I've heard a lot of jeering voices in the past two days, saying 'How does he know English?' and 'Is he suitable?'"
But, Elkin contended, "If his name were Yariv Oppenheimer [director of extreme leftist group Peace Now – ed.] and not Danny Danon, everyone would welcome his appointment."
"It is permissible to appoint a right-winger to the UN, where he will fight for Israel's positions," Elkin added.
On Friday, Channel 2 reported that Science and Space Minister Danny Danon would replace Ron Prosor as Israel's UN Ambassador.
"I have decided to appoint Minister Danny Danon Israel's ambassador to the UN. The UN podium is important at this time and I am convinced Danny will fight with all his might to present the truth to the international arena," Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wrote on Twitter.
Political pundits, however, have contended the Prime Minister wanted to appoint Danon to the UN as a way of removing him from the internal Likud political arena, where he was apparently making Netanyahu's life miserable.
MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) quickly attacked Netanyahu for the alleged political maneuver, accusing him of "abandoning Israel in the difficult diplomatic battle in the international arena, and preferring his personal interest inside the Likud Central Committee over Israel's security interests."
Danon, meanwhile, thanked Netanyahu for "his confidence in me to represent Israel at the UN during this challenging time. I will do everything to promote the just position of the State of Israel."