Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

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. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Book Reviews Opinion The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love. CreateSpace, 2015. The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love, is a very interesting novel. Equally a political and romantic thriller, at times a real page-turner, it gets you intimately involved in the dire situation in today’s Syria, as well as in the romantic entanglements of its mostly New York-based characters — whose entanglements just might determine the fate of that dire situation in Syria. Along the way it introduces a really important idea that somehow […]

    Read more →
  • Features Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    JNS.org – Aside from Israel itself, those with a vested interest in the Jewish state are accustomed to tracking developments related to Middle East players such as Iran, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. But much global attention has recently focused on the Caucasus region at the Europe-Asia border, specifically on the suddenly intensified violence between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh area of western Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, while not taking place in Israel’s immediate neighborhood, does have what one scholar called […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    JNS.org – On Friday, April 22, 196 nations across the world mark Earth Day, the annual day dedicated to environmental protection that was enacted in 1970. Not to be forgotten on this day is Israel, which is known as the “start-up nation” for its disproportionate amount of technological innovation, including in the area of protecting the environment. For Earth Day 2016, JNS.org presents a sampling of the Jewish state’s internal achievements and global contributions in the environmental realm. Water conservation Israeli […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture World New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    Holocaust humor and the role that laughter played in the lives of Jews during World War II are the focus of a documentary that made its world premiere on Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In The Last Laugh, first- and second-generation survivors, as well as famous Jewish and non-Jewish comedians, discuss their thoughts on when joking about the death camps is appropriate or taboo. “Nazi humor, that’s OK. Holocaust humor, no,” Jewish comedic giant, actor and filmmaker Mel Brooks says in the film. “Anything I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    JNS.org – Sherri Mandell’s life was devastated on May 8, 2001, when her 13-year-old son Koby was murdered by terrorists on the outskirts of the Israeli Jewish community of Tekoa. Yet Mandell not only shares the story of her loss, but also celebrates the lessons she has learned from tragedy. Indeed, “celebrate” is this Israeli-American author’s word choice. Her second book, The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration (Toby Press), came out earlier this year. The lesson: in every celebration, there is […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion For Alan Gross, Cuban Prison Didn’t Harden His Heart or Weaken His Ambition

    For Alan Gross, Cuban Prison Didn’t Harden His Heart or Weaken His Ambition

    JNS.org – Alan Gross used to be nothing more to me than a tragic headline. When I started my position at this news service in July 2011, Gross had been imprisoned in Cuba since December 2009 for what that country called “crimes against the state.” Gross, a subcontractor for the United States Agency for International Development, went to Cuba to help the Jewish community there access the Internet. After his arrest, he received a trial he describes as a “B movie,” […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Features New Movie Shows How Global Economic Instability Grew From Very Local Greed

    New Movie Shows How Global Economic Instability Grew From Very Local Greed

    JNS.org – When I saw the recent Academy Award-winning film “The Big Short,” I was struck by the sheer genius of the financiers who devised the schemes and packaged the loans for resale, but it left me with unanswered questions about how the properties these loans represented were moved. “The Big Short” was largely about paper transactions, big money, and wealthy investors, and it mildly touched on the way the actual end-users — the home buyers and brokers — played into this […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews Psychiatry and the Spirit

    Psychiatry and the Spirit

    Why do we think so negatively about psychiatrists that we still insult them by calling them shrinks? Some medics might be quacks, but we don’t generally refer to them as witches! Shrinks; The Untold Story of Psychiatry, by Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, is a sobering account of how psychiatry has swung from a marginal, unscientific mixture of weird theories into one of the most common and pervasive forms of treatment of what are commonly called “disorders of the mind.” Is it […]

    Read more →