What the Ron Dermer Appointment Signals

July 11, 2013 4:24 pm 3 comments

Netanyahu adviser Ron Dermer. Photo: Screenshot.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement this week that his trusted aide Ron Dermer will replace Michael Oren as the Jewish State’s ambassador to Washington is the latest statement of Israeli independence from American designs in the region.

In 2008 when President Barack Obama was first elected, following a campaign in which he was sharply criticized by some members of the Jewish community for his believed hostility to Israeli positions, two major Jewish organizations made olive branch appointments.

AIPAC, the goliath pro-Israel lobby appointed Chicago entrepreneur Lee “Rosy” Rosenberg as president. According to the Washington Post Rosenberg was one of Obama’s “staunchest Jewish allies during his 2008 presidential campaign.”

“He advised the president on foreign policy in the Middle East and Israel and delivered speeches to Jewish groups around the country,” the Post added.

Similarly, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations appointed Chicago lawyer Alan Solow, another veteran Obama supporter and campaign bundler, as its Chairman.

But the Israeli public has shown no such deference to the U.S. administration. When Prime Minister Netanyahu was re-elected shortly after Obama’s own re-election victory (as opposed to a leader whose policies were more overtly aligned with the White House) it was a strong statement of independence.

Netanyahu did not disappoint.

He followed Obama’s appointment of Chuck Hagel as U.S. Secretary of Defense with the selection of Moshe Yaalon as Israel’s Defense Minister – a man whose worldview appears to be almost diametrically opposed to Hagel’s. As Yaalon’s deputy he appointed Danny Danon, who has been a vocal critic of the Obama administration since its very early days.

Although as Israeli Daily Ma’ariv reported, Dermer has visited with and his appointment has been “approved” by U.S. administration officials, including John Kerry, this was done as a matter of courtesy. It is unlikely that given the choice, Dermer would have been their first pick.

According to a JTA report, Dermer “is rumored to be the one responsible for news stories about Obama’s supposed 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.”

Mr. Dermer, “is credited with helping engineer a campaign visit by Mr. Romney to Israel which featured a warm embrace with Mr. Netanyahu while the Republican candidate attacked the Obama administration, say analysts. He is also considered a liaison to influential Republican campaign financiers like Sheldon Adelson,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

“Here’s a guy that made sure the prime minister was close to Romney,” the Journal cited an Israeli political analyst familiar with officials at the prime minister’s office as saying. “If Romney was elected [Mr. Dermer] would be the one you send right away. He’s got the right demeanor as a Republican, he has neo-conservative credentials. He has the full backing and confidence of the prime minister, which is important. But for Obama, it’s not the right fit. There’s too much baggage.”

“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.”

As many have stressed, Dermer is exceedingly close to Netanyahu. In many ways, the placement is as if Netanyahu wished a clone of himself to be present on Capitol Hill. And while Netanyahu is an experienced statesman who is well versed in the ways of diplomacy, he is known more in his dealings with Washington for his verbal commitment to Israel’s right to independence of action, especially on security related matters, than for being a conciliatory “yes” man.

If the Israelis were expecting a time down the road or a future time in which the Jewish State was forced to take action in Iran or elsewhere against the will of the United States, Dermer would be the man best suited to stand his ground in representing Israel to the White House.

Indeed, as the flames of the Middle East intensify, with Netanyahu’s selection of Dermer comes a concrete demonstration of what the Prime Minister has often stressed; that Israel reserves the right to defend itself by itself at all times.

The author is the Editor-in-Chief of The Algemeiner and director of the GJCF and can be e-mailed at defune@gjcf.com.

3 Comments

  • MENACHEM BEGIN SAID THIS IN NYC:

    “Israel will defend herself by herself”

    FOLLOWED BY:

    “We are not a banana republic”!

    IT WAS A FEW MINUTES BEFORE THe START OF THE READING OF EICHA ON A SATURDAY EVENING JUST BEFORE TISHA B’AV BEGAN.

    AS FOR DERMER, THE JURY IS OUT.

    AS FOR KERRY, HE CAN’T ADMIT HE HAS JEWISH BLOOD, SO THEREFORE HE IS NOT THE RIGHT PERSON TO ATTEMPT NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINITANS.

  • I am familiar with the Honorable Ambassador to be. He is a very bright individual and will continue the work of current Ambassador (ex to be). He certainly will present and advocate for his country. He is a very solid pick.

  • Americans want someone trusted and discreet to be President

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Blogs Sports Gold on the Galilee: Israeli Kayaker Comes of Age, Eyes Olympics (VIDEO)

    Gold on the Galilee: Israeli Kayaker Comes of Age, Eyes Olympics (VIDEO)

    JNS.org – Three years ago, kayaking coach Roei Lev found aspiring Olympian Ilya Podpolnyy crying on the steps of the Jordan Valley Sprint Kayak Club overlooking the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). Podpolnyy, then 17 years old, had just been disqualified from the Israeli kayaking championship. He couldn’t survive the heats. He didn’t make the start line. He was devastated—and he had no one with whom to share his hopes, his dreams, and his disappointment. His divorced parents still live in [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Lena Dunham Responds to Charges of Antisemitism: It was Just a Jew Joke

    Lena Dunham Responds to Charges of Antisemitism: It was Just a Jew Joke

    “Girls” creator Lena Dunham responded on Tuesday to charges of antisemitism over an article she had penned for the New Yorker, saying it was all in good humor. Speaking to Variety, Dunham reflected on her “tight-knit Jewish family, where Jew jokes were part of the essential fiber of our communication.” The article Dunham referred to was called “Dog or Jewish Boyfriend? A Quiz,” with options such as “He doesn’t Tip” and “He’s Crazy for Cream Cheese.” Among Dunham’s critics, Anti-Defamation [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Former NBA Star Tweets Article About Jewish Conspiracy to Control Global Media

    Former NBA Star Tweets Article About Jewish Conspiracy to Control Global Media

    Retired NBA player Keyon Dooling tweeted a link on Wednesday to a wildly antisemitic article that accuses Jews of seizing control of the world’s media and using it to promote their own interests. The article, published by an obscure blog in April 2013, highlights six companies it claims are owned by Jews — such as Time Warner, Inc. and the Walt Disney Company – that allegedly “control 96 percent of the world’s media.”  The post includes allegations of “Jewish control” and says [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Rosh Hashanah Won’t Keep the Giants’ Geoff Schwartz From Season Opener

    Rosh Hashanah Won’t Keep the Giants’ Geoff Schwartz From Season Opener

    New York Giants offensive guard Geoff Schwartz responded to an outcry from Jewish fans on Tuesday, saying he will go ahead and play in the season opener despite the fact that it falls on the first night of Rosh Hashanah. “Keep getting tweets about that being the first night of Rosh Hashanah… Don’t know what I’m supposed to tell you. It’s a tough break,” the Jewish athlete wrote, referring to the Giants’ on-the-road game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Sept. [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Jewish Coach David Blatt Has NBA’s Cavaliers Surging at Playoff Time

    Jewish Coach David Blatt Has NBA’s Cavaliers Surging at Playoff Time

    JNS.org – When David Blatt was hired as head coach of the National Basketball Association’s Cleveland Cavaliers last June, he was not often recognized when he walked the streets of downtown Cleveland. What a difference a year makes. Now, Blatt can go few places without being recognized. For good reason. The Jewish coach has the Cavaliers in the mix to win the city of Cleveland’s first championship in a major sport since the Browns won the National Football League title in [...]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports Croatian Soccer Star’s Hebrew Tattoo Causes a Stir Online

    Croatian Soccer Star’s Hebrew Tattoo Causes a Stir Online

    A Hebrew tattoo sported by Croatian soccer star Mario Mandzukic became an internet sensation in Israel after it was exposed on Tuesday during a Champions League match between Ateltico Madrid and Real Madrid A first glance, the tattoo, on the athlete’s back, might leave one with the impression that it was an unfortunate artistic mistake, since the Hebrew letters do not make sense as they are written. However, a closer look at the tattoo shows that it was actually written [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Theater Why an Algemeiner Editor Wrote a Play About a Mass Shooter

    Why an Algemeiner Editor Wrote a Play About a Mass Shooter

    For the past two years, I have served as Opinion Editor at The Algemeiner. I’m perhaps most proud of the paper’s commitment to publishing diverse and opposing viewpoints on the controversial issues of the day. We pride ourselves on voicing different opinions because we know that most issues are not black and white, and because our community is better served by a public debate. In my life outside of the paper, I am a professional actor and playwright. And similarly, [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Commentary In ‘America in Retreat,’ a Real-Life Risk Board

    In ‘America in Retreat,’ a Real-Life Risk Board

    JNS.org – “Risk: The Game of Strategic Conquest,” the classic Parker Brothers board game, requires imperial ambitions. Players imagine empires and are pitted against each other, vying for world domination. Amid this fictional world war, beginners learn fast that no matter the superiority of their army, every advance is a gamble determined by a roll of the dice. After a defeat, a player must retreat. Weighted reinforcement cards provide the only opportunity to reverse a player’s fortunes and resume the [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.