Netanyahu appoints prominent anti-BDS campaigner Gilad Erdan as Israel's ambassador to US and UN

Netanyahu appoints prominent anti-BDS campaigner Gilad Erdan as Israel's ambassador to US and UN
The current Likud minister and fierce BDS opponent will take over the dual role as part of Netanyahu's government reshuffle.
2 min read
12 May, 2020
Gilad Erdan (L) has been criticised for his fierce anti-Palestinian stance [Getty]
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has started a government reshuffle by appointing the current Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan as ambassador to both the United Nations and the United States.

Israel's new unity government will be sworn in on Thursday and will see hardline right-winger Erdan chosen for the top ambassador role.

Erdan has drawn criticism for his efforts in coordination with Mossad to quash the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, led by Palestinians in order to highlight human rights violations committed by Israel.

As part of the campaign, Erdan pushed for the 2017 law that bars boycott supporters from entering Israel.

The minister - whose current role includes overseeing the police - has also faced criticism for his anti-Arab stance, claiming that Palestinian culture is inherently violent.

He has also been accused of failing to sufficiently investigate the rise in violent crime in Palestinian neighbourhoods.

Erdan has also overseen the ramping up of police operations in East Jerusalem, targeting organisations and events tied to the Palestinian Authority, including football tournaments, television studios, Mother's Day events and last month, a coronavirus testing clinic.

"I am proud and moved by the privilege of struggling for the justice of our cause in the international arena and defending Israel in the face of the expected challenges in the coming years," Erdan said of his appointment.

Erdan will replace the incumbent US-born ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer, and UN representative Danny Danon.

Congratulating his successor on Monday, Danon tweeted: "After five years... representing the State of Israel and the Jewish people to the nations of the world, I can attest that this is a challenging and fascinating role."

The double appointment is a rare incidence in Israel, however, Benny Gantz is permitted to select a new ambassador to the US when he succedes Netanyahu as premier, as part of the coalition deal.

Erdan will likely take over Dermer's role after the US election in November, however, he will assume his role at the UN immediately after the government is sworn in this week.

Israel is poised to annex large swathes of Palestinian land in the West Bank, a move which is strongly opposed by the UN.

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