Danny Ayalon

Danny Ayalon
Danny Ayalon
Date of birth 17 December 1955 (1955-12-17) (age 55)
Place of birth Tel Aviv, Israel
Knessets 18
Party Yisrael Beiteinu

Daniel "Danny" Ayalon (Hebrew: דניאל "דני" איילון‎, born 17 December 1955) is an Israeli politician who currently serves as Deputy Foreign Minister and as a member of the Knesset for Yisrael Beiteinu. He is a former Israeli Ambassador to the United States, serving from 2002 until 2006.


Early life

Danny Ayalon was born in Tel Aviv in 1955 to Rafael Ayalon, an Algerian Jewish refugee, and Lily Sigalov, a Polish Jewish refugee who immigrated to Israel in 1937. He was raised and educated in Tel Aviv, and was drafted into the Israel Defense Forces where he rose to the rank of captain in the Armored Corps.

Education and work

He received a BA in economics from Tel Aviv University and an MBA from Bowling Green University in Ohio. Ayalon took up a position a senior finance executive in Koor Industries, Israel's leading international trading company.[citation needed]

Diplomatic career

He was appointed ambassador to the United States in 2002 by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Before taking on this responsibility, Ayalon had served as Deputy Foreign Policy Adviser to two previous Prime Ministers, and as Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon,[1] during which time he was a member of the Israeli delegations to the Sharm El-Sheikh (1997), Wye Plantation (1998) and Camp David (2000) summits. He served in New York from 1993–1997 as the Director of the Bureau of Israel's Ambassador to the UN and as Deputy Chief of Mission in Panama from 1991–1992. Before his entrance into Israel's Foreign Service, Ayalon was a senior finance executive in Koor Industries, Israel's leading international trading company.

Ayalon was a strong defender of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan, which withdrew all Israeli settlements from the Gaza Strip.[2] He also played a leading role in the negotiations for the Road map for peace including the exchange of letters on 14 April 2004 between President Bush and Prime Minister Sharon.[3]

Since 2007, Ayalon has served as the co-chairman of Nefesh B'Nefesh, an organization that encourages aliyah by Jewish people to Israel from North America and other English-speaking areas.[1]

In August 2008, he joined Yisrael Beiteinu and was placed seventh on the party's list for the 2009 elections.[4] He entered the Knesset after the party won 15 seats, and was appointed Deputy Foreign Minister in the new government of Binyamin Netanyahu

In December 2009, he led high-level diplomatic discussions with the Holy See concerning Church properties and taxes, but the negotiations failed to come up with any significant result.[5]

The following month, he caused a diplomatic incident, after summoning the Turkish ambassador, Ahmet Oğuz Çelikkol, to complain about a Turkish television series, Kurtlar Vadisi Pusu, which showed Mossad agents snatching a baby to convert to Judaism. Ayalon also invited media to the meeting, where he refused to shake the ambassador's hand, told journalists to note the fact that the Turkish ambassador was seated on a lower chair, (one newspaper called it the "height of humiliation") that they were not smiling, and that there was only an Israeli flag present.[6][7] Although Ayalon later apologized to Çelikkol,[8] Yisrael Beiteinu officials said that Ayalon was "finished politically".[9]

In February 2011, Ayalon made a public appeal to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay to cancel his plans on visiting Iran. Ayalon stated that the visit by the UN Commissioner would legitimize a regime that "maliciously violates human rights, executes its citizens and openly calls for genocide." ".[10]

Israel Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon has an extremely successful record in social media with tens of thousands of followers across the globe. He has consistently been recognized as one of the leading politicians globally utilizing social media by Foreign Policy and Dimpool, a web-based diplomatic analysis center.[11][12]


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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