web analytics
September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



New Israeli Ambassador To U.S. Known For Closeness To Netanyahu

Ron Dermer

Ron Dermer

WASHINGTON – Ron Dermer laced his address to the 2009 American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference with “I was with him when.”

Dermer used the phrase five times in the first five minutes of the speech – the “him” being Benjamin Netanyahu.

“I can shed a little insight into the mind of the Israeli prime minister,” Dermer told the crowd. “Because on that I’m something of an expert.”

Two elements of the address, made just weeks after Netanyahu assumed office, explain Dermer’s ascension this week to the country’s most important diplomatic post, the ambassadorship to Washington.

Dermer has a closeness to Netanyahu so steadfast that it does not inhibit his brashness in boasting about it. And Dermer utterly buys into Netanyahu’s most cherished notion about himself – that he has been right when others have been wrong.

“He’s a man of basic core convictions who has time after time been willing to stand against the current when it was not popular,” Dermer told AIPAC.

Born to a family of conservative Democrats in Miami – his father and brother are both former Miami Beach mayors – Dermer, 41, served as Netanyahu’s top adviser from his assumption of office in March 2009 until his new term began in March of this year.

But Dermer is known for more than just loyalty to his boss. His reputation is as a brash political player dismissive of those with whom he disagrees.

He is rumored to be the one responsible for news stories about Obama’s alleged snub of Netanyahu during his 2010 White House visit. And Obama administration officials believe he was behind Netanyahu’s perceived tilt toward Mitt Romney in last year’s presidential election.

“To me, it’s not an ideal choice as he’s seen as extremely political and as someone who has repeatedly gone to the press with negative stories,” a former Obama administration official told JTA. “You want someone trusted and discreet to be your ambassador.”

Dermer’s reputation raised eyebrows when his name first surfaced earlier this year as a possible replacement for Michael Oren, the historian turned diplomat who will wind down his tenure in Washington this fall. But leaders of mainstream Jewish groups, which lavishly praised the pick on Tuesday, said those muddied waters were under the bridge.

“He’s coming here as ambassador to the United states, not to get involved in partisan politics,” David Harris, the American Jewish Committee director, told JTA. “The prime minister knows it. He knows it.”

Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s national director, noted that Dan Shapiro, Obama’s envoy to Israel, once was closely identified with positions that upset the Netanyahu government. In his previous position, as the top Middle East official on the National Security Council, Shapiro took the lead in pressing Israel to freeze settlement expansion.

“The relationship is bigger than political nuance,” said Foxman, who added that since Obama’s successful March visit to Israel, the tensions that once divided the governments have passed.

Dermer immigrated to Israel in 1997 after several years of involvement in Republican congressional politics. He drew close at first to former Soviet political prisoner Natan Sharansky, co-writing with him “The Case for Democracy,” a book that President George W. Bush later cited as a major influence. In the book, Sharansky treats Dermer as a full partner in shaping its ideas.

Through Sharansky, Dermer met Netanyahu, and they also forged an immediate closeness. Netanyahu, the finance minister in the mid-2000s, sent Dermer to Washington as economic consul.

Dermer lets little stand in his way. Oren – also U.S. born and beloved by the U.S. Jewish community – wanted to keep his job, insiders say, and the only reason he was removed is that Dermer wanted the envoy post.

Oren and his two predecessors, Salai Meridor and Daniel Ayalon, made outreach to the U.S. Jewish community a hallmark of their tenure. In 2009, Dermer said he considered cultivating ties with the American Jewish community’s liberal wing a waste of time.

Dermer also led efforts in the Prime Minister’s Office to limit the activities of human rights groups in Israel, casting them as agents of foreign powers. Some of the groups have the support of leading Jewish liberal benefactors from the United States.

Dermer’s defenders in Washington say those issues are dwarfed by the immediate challenges facing Israeli-U.S. interests in the Middle East.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “New Israeli Ambassador To U.S. Known For Closeness To Netanyahu”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Candy-laden bulletin board greets children on their first day of school in the lobby of an Efrat apartment building. Sept. 1, 2014.
The message reads:
"To our dear children ... may it be a year of fun and happiness in your studies." 
Did You Know September 1 is an Israeli National Holiday?
Latest News Stories
Flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS -- now known simply as the 'Islamic State.'

Germany and other western countries have begun providing weapons to Kurds in fight against the IS.

Arab workers at SodaStream's factory in Maaleh Adumim may be replaced by Bedouin in the company's new plant in the Negev.

BDS will be claim victory, but the truth is that a logistics would be a major factor if SodaStream leaves Maaleh Adumim.

Funeral of Shachar Shalev.

The body of 1st Sgt. Shachar Shalev was laid to rest this afternoon in the cemetery in Hipsin.

Palestinian Authority terrorists wounded a three-year-old girl and a bus driver in two separate rock throwing and firebombing attacks on Monday. Both victims suffered light injuries and were treated on the spot, without need for hospitalization. The girl was riding a bus in northern Jerusalem when the attackers smashed a glass window on the bus. […]

“He was part hippie, part yippie, part beatnik, and part New Age,” – Elli Wohlgelernter in a Jerusalem Post eulogy in 1994.

Palestinian Authority manipulation of the media makes it impossible for peace between PA Arabs and Israelis.

“I know that you spent your vacation doing things not according to what you planned,” the prime minister told students in southern Israel.

The recent war in Gaza is not expected to inflict any lasting damage on economic performance.

A Syrian rebel group attacks dozens of UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights; others are held captive. UNDOF head is challenged.

The price of self-service 95 octane gasoline in Israel dropped by a tiny bit — one agora per liter — at midnight on Sunday.

Residents of Gaza Belt communities were furious and worried on the first day of school to find no one at the guard posts.

Arab terror gangs have again attacked Israeli travelers over the past few hours on main arteries around Jerusalem.

Minister Bennett praised the government in a visit to Gush Etzion for its decision to answer terror with Jewish expansion.

The International Criminal Court at The Hague has no jurisdiction over Gaza or anywhere else in the PA — yet.

More Articles from Ron Kampeas
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

President Obama in an April 25 press conference seemed ready to take a break. “There may come a point at which there just needs to be a pause and both sides need to look at the alternatives,” he said.

Secretary of State Kerry and Prime Minister Netanyahu

Obama himself suggested that a break from the process may be necessary.

But Israel’s stance is not sufficiently consequential to set off a fight between friends, neoconservative scholars said.

Tensions between Russia and the West are mounting over the Russian military takeover of the Crimean Peninsula, with the United States and European countries threatening to impose sanctions.

Expansive outreach, of course, is nothing new for AIPAC. But in the wake of battles over Iran sanctions legislation that pitted the pro-Israel lobbying powerhouse against the White House, many congressional Democrats and liberals more generally, AIPAC’s traditional emphasis on Israel as a bipartisan issue has taken on added urgency.

Administration officials and Jewish groups sympathetic to Kerry’s initiative say there is a longer-term agenda in preempting attacks on the framework peace agreement the Obama administration is expected to propose soon.

“As we have since the beginning of the process, we continue to support Secretary Kerry’s diplomatic efforts to achieve a secure and lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” AIPAC spokesman Marshall Wittman said in a statement to JTA.

WASHINGTON – Until recently, the rule of thumb in the pro-Israel community was that the bigger the academic group, the less likely it was to consider a boycott of Israeli colleagues.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/government-israel/new-israeli-ambassador-to-u-s-known-for-closeness-to-netanyahu/2013/07/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: