On the radio show this morning, Glenn spoke with Danny Danon, Deputy Speaker for the Knesset in Israel, about a wide range of topics including Iran's nuclear program, the Obama administration, and his new book Israel: The Will to Prevail.
Read the transcript of the interview below:
GLENN: Danny Danon, he is the deputy speaker of the Knesset and author of a brand‑new book that everybody should read called Israel: The Will to Prevail. The biggest problem we have in America is our will, do we have the will to do what we have to do to be able to survive and then thrive. The same question is being asked of Israel, and I will tell you, knowing the Israeli people, well, with the exception of a lot of people in Tel Aviv, knowing a lot of the Israelis, there is a will to survive, and they will.
Danny Danon is here with us now. Hi, Danny, how are you, sir?
DANON: Hi, Glenn, it's a pleasure to be on your show.
GLENN: Tell me the situation. Here we sit on September 11th, the eleventh anniversary. You probably have noticed but are probably polite enough not to point out that people in America are just kind of back to normal and we're not ‑‑ it's not like when you have a very important date in Israel where the city and the population stops to reflect. We've forgotten and now we're really not taking this threat from Iran seriously at all anymore.
DANON: Glenn, it is amazing. I meet a lot of people who tell me why should we bother about Israel? Why should we bother about the Middle East? It is not happening in our backyard. That is a mistake because if you ignore what's happening today in Israel, it will come to the shores of the United States of America. It happened eleven years ago and it will happen again. We are being attacked not because we conquered the land or we occupy the settlement. We are being attacked because of the values, because we are different. And just listen to their opinion. They say we will go after the Saturday people, the Jews, but they will go after the Sunday people, the Christians in the United States. So I think you better wake up because I think in Israel we woke up already, but over here, as you said, people are ignoring the reality.
GLENN: So why do you suppose it is? And people in your own country and Jews here in America shock me because they're different than Israelis. They don't take this, the threat, seriously about Iran, and most Americans don't. Why, why do you suppose that is?
DANON: I think that people look at the map and say, "Wow, it is so far away, why should I bother." But today with the globalization. Also the terrorists use technology. And you look at the connection and the deep relationship between Venezuela and Iran and Hezbollah. And you know, Glenn, what they have in common, all of them? And I'm writing a book about the weekly flies that fly every week from Iran to Venezuela in order to transfer (inaudible). They have in common the hatred to the USA, the hatred to Israel. And I think that you would continue to do so. So it is not so simple, if you're not somewhere far away, it can be here in South America and it can come to the shores of the United States.
GLENN: You invited me to speak at the Knesset which was one of the bigger honors of my life.
DANON: You have to come again, Glenn. It was amazing.
GLENN: Well, if President Obama wins, I will be there probably by the end of the year. And I might bring my bags with me.
GLENN: But it was a great honor to speak and to stand with you and so many others, but I know you got a lot of heat for that. I'm not as popular over there even as I am here.
DANON: Well, I think that the majority support you and support people like you who stand with Israel, pray for Israel, but sometimes few elements in the media, especially the liberal part of media, do not like to fear support to Israel. They like to put fear in the heart of the Israelis telling us, "If you will not make a confession today, if you will not divide Jerusalem tomorrow, it will be horrible." I remember last year before the UN convention, people from the left told me, "If you will not build up a (inaudible) before September 2011, it will be a point of no return" and look what happened. Nothing happened. So we are not afraid, and I can tell that people love you and I think you should come again, no matter what will be the result in the upcoming elections because we need people like you who stand with Israel. And I know that many people in Israel are not aware between the difference of the White House or Washington to the great America. Some people see that President Obama is not pro Israel or he's not supportive of the Israeli people. I know it is not the case with the majority of the Americans who do support us.
GLENN: That's one thing that I wanted to talk to you about is the fact, I've seen a change in many Americans and Christians per se. They're not ‑‑ they're standing with Israel and the Israelis and the Jewish people not because they want to baptize or anything else. I mean, don't get me wrong. There are people that, you know, are like, "Hey, you'll come to Jesus." But mainly I am seeing people who are standing there because they know it's right. And there is a chance that at least in this country, there are millions of people that recognize the point in history that we're at and will stand with you. It has to be extraordinarily frustrating to see, do you ‑‑ let me ask you this way: Do you think it was a mistake or an oversight that President Obama and the Democratic National Committee left Jerusalem out and said, "Hey, we don't ‑‑ we can't really find the capital of Israel. We're not really sure where it is"?
DANON: Definitely it was an embarrassing moment for everybody and we felt awkward watching it at the center. And I have been to conventions but I haven't seen such a miserable act regarding Jerusalem and God. But I have to tell you what. I have many friends about Democrats, congressmen, senators. I think the main issue is the policy of President Obama. And you don't need to look at the platform. Look at the policy in the last three and a half years. He told us do not build in Jerusalem. Can you believe somebody who tell in the U.S. to Hispanics or to African‑Americans you are not allowed to build in this city or in this state? It is unbelievable. But President Obama said it very clearly: Jews should not build in certain parts of Jerusalem, the only capital. So no matter what will be the decision in any convention, Jerusalem will be the capital of the Jewish people. And I do feel that we ‑‑ it is so important for you to speak up because you support us, and people like yourself unconditionally. You don't tell. You ask. You will support Israel but you have to do 1, 2, and 3, or you have to divide the land. You support us no conditions and that is true love.
GLENN: Well, I mean, it's your business. It's your country, it's your business. I support you and your right to defend yourself. That doesn't mean I'm going to say, "Hey, we've all got to get troops on the ground," you know, because we are ‑‑ we've spent ourself into oblivion and we've spread ourselves so thin that, you know, we just can't be all over the world like we were. But I completely support your right to stand up for yourself.
How do you feel ‑‑ or do you have any comments on the United States just sending over a billion dollars now for the new Islamic regime in Egypt to purchase German U‑boats?
DANON: You know, you look at that and you do not believe it. You give billions of U.S. dollars to the UN, Ahmadinejad on a yearly base and now you fund the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. And it's not only money. It's the technology, weapons that eventually will be used against us. So I ask myself, aren't you thinking about what will happen in five years, ten years? The region is so dynamic, so fragile, and I think sometimes we cannot believe what's happening in terms of the mistakes. But sending troops, you know, the U.S. never sent troops to Israel. Only during the Gulf War there were a few patriotic people who operated the aircraft missiles. But never the U.S. had to send troops to Israel. We know how to defend ourselves, but we do need the moral support. We need the moral backing and that's what we expect from President Obama, to give us the moral backing.
GLENN: How do you feel, how do you feel about Mitt Romney's direction? Do you feel that there's support there for Israel?
DANON: I heard Governor Romney in Israel. I think he really means what he said about standing with Israel. And I think President Obama was unique because even in my book I compare President Obama not to President Bush. To President Clinton who was also a Democrat, where President Clinton tried to be a mediator and to mediate between us, Israelis, to the Palestinians. President Obama, he was a dictator. He tried to dictate our (inaudible) on us and he tried to bully our prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. And that's not the way to achieve real peace. That's not the way to treat your ally.
GLENN: I don't think anybody really bullies Benjamin Netanyahu, at least effectively. Is there any concern about how the American people will react if you guys strike without saying anything, if you guys strike before the election?
DANON: Also, you know, we are following the elections very carefully but the timeline of Iran is different. They don't care about elections, don't care about what will happen here in November, and we are very worried about that. But I think we show that we don't have to get permission from anyone. When we have the nuclear reactor in Iraq in the early Eighties, Israel was condemned by the UN, by the U.S., but eventually it was a good decision. It was for the benefit of the American people. So I think also this time if you will act, serve in the long run, it will be for the benefit of the American people.
GLENN: Danny Danon, he is the deputy speaker of the Knesset and the author of Israel: The Will to Prevail. Danny, we'll see you again and thank you so much. God ‑‑
DANON: We'll see you next year in Jerusalem.
GLENN: You got it. God bless. The capital of Israel, by the way.