web analytics
September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



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
Convicted murderer of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner, Mumia Ab-Jamal.
Convicted Cop-Killer Mumia Abu-Jamal is College Commencement Speaker
Latest News Stories

An Israeli was lightly injured in a Arab drive-by attack near Ofra.

To defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war.

Convicted murderer of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner, Mumia Ab-Jamal.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted murderer of a Philly cop, was chosen as college commencement speaker.

Israeli transportation and tourism employees will carry out a work slowdown on Wednesday in solidarity with striking postal workers.

Wartime makes the strangest bedfellows. Iran and the United States are both equipping the Lebanese army to protect the country against ISIS.

Afek Oil and Gas has been blocked from drilling for oil on the Golan Heights, at least for now.

A 30-year-old man is listed in serious condition after setting himself afire at the Savion Junction in central Israel on Tuesday.

A Muslim football player was penalized in Kansas City for offering a quick prayerful gesture of thanks after scoring a touchdown for his team.

The Zim Shanghai moored a short while ago at the Port of Los Angeles.

The blatantly hostile state department press corps belittled and mischaracterized Netanyahu’s UN speech.

Children help clean up Ashkelon in an event organized by the Jewish National Fund, as part of Clean up the World Day, on Sept. 29, 2014.

Jews are becoming as safe in France as they are in Iraq, Yemen and Syria.

Children were rushed to bomb shelters in the Jerusalem neighborhood when Arabs began throwing explosives at the neighborhood and at Jewish toddlers playing near their nursery schools.

Volkswagen tries to cleanse its Nazi-linked past.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu headed for a much deserved lunch in Midtown Manhattan with Sheldon Adelson, at Fresco by Scotto, accompanied by 30 security guards. Bibi had the veal chop.

More Articles from Ron Kampeas

It’s not yet clear if Nemmouche was acting on orders and, if so, whether the orders came from ISIS.

Capital-Bldg-091214

“The Jewish community is going to have to work harder,” said one veteran official who has worked both as a professional in the Jewish community and a staffer for a Jewish lawmaker.

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.

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.

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: