UN Ambassador Danny Danon’s will remain in his position until May, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu determined hours before Danon’s term was to expire on Tuesday night.
The Prime Minister’s Office had not announced a decision by Tuesday evening. The delay was partly due to a lack of clarity as to whether Netanyahu could appoint a replacement for Danon.
The prime minister asked Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit a second time this week if he could make a senior appointment such as UN ambassador while leading an interim government. Mandelblit has yet to give him an answer.
Danon’s term had been extended several times in the past, most recently in August.
Despite making sure to keep in contact with Likud activists, Danon, a former MK and deputy defense minister, has less of a political interest to return to Israel at this time. Primaries for the Likud list were canceled ahead of March’s election, and it is unlikely that he would be appointed minister in the event of a Likud victory, because there is stiff competition between senior Likud lawmakers for cabinet posts.
Netanyahu has offered Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan the role multiple times since early 2019, and the offer remained open on Tuesday, but Erdan said he is not interested. Another rumored candidate for the role is Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis, but he said Netanyahu never offered him the job.
“If I receive an offer, I will consider it positively,” he said. Several ambassadorial positions have been left empty due to the current political paralysis. There are no Israeli ambassadors in Russia, Canada or Egypt at this time.
U.S. Ambassador Ron Dermer’s term was meant to end in July, but it was extended for a third time until next summer.