In accordance with the ritual known as “credentialing,” Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, presented the official documents naming him to his position to U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 3, at the White House.
The new ambassador signed the White House guest log with this message:
I feel proud and honored to serve as Israel’s ambassador to the United States. America is a country to which the Jewish people owe so much and to which I, as a son of America, am so personally indebted. I look forward to working with you and your administration to make the bonds between Israel and America stronger than ever.
Along with the presentation of the formal papers, Dermer also presented Obama with a gift. It is a pair of custom-made etched menorah cufflinks. The etching is a replica of the etched Menorah Tablet found in the City of David Excavations in ancient Jerusalem.
The Menorah etching dates back to approximately the year 0 of the Common Era. It is one of the earliest depictions of the ancient universal symbol of Judaism. It also is a reminder to those who may otherwise forget, Jews have been in Jerusalem for millennia.
And just to lighten the mood, Dermer told President Obama that the day probably marked the first time in 40 years that there was a Golda in the Oval Office. The Golda in the Oval Office 40 years ago, of course, was Golda Meir, the fourth Prime Minister of Israel who held that position from 1969 to 1974. The present Golda is Dermer’s 5 month old daughter.
Dermer, a thoroughly modern diplomat, tweeted the updates to his followers.
Dermer had already presented his credentials to the State Department’s Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns on Friday, Oct. 11, but the formal presentation of papers to the sitting president is the final step in the process.