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...

  • Arts and Culture Music Coldplay Begins Concert With Broadcast of Charlie Chaplin’s Iconic Speech in ‘The Great Dictator’

    Coldplay Begins Concert With Broadcast of Charlie Chaplin’s Iconic Speech in ‘The Great Dictator’

    British rock band Coldplay started its set at the Glastonburg Festival on Sunday by broadcasting excerpts of the iconic speech Charlie Chaplin delivered in The Great Dictator, the 1940 political satire in which the famous filmmaker/movie star played a Jewish barber. “I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone,” Chaplin begins his address. “I should like to help everyone, if possible, Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Two Decades Before Cleveland’s First NBA Title, LeBron James Walked Onto a JCC Court

    Two Decades Before Cleveland’s First NBA Title, LeBron James Walked Onto a JCC Court

    JNS.org – The seed for the city of Cleveland’s first professional championship in a major sport in 52 years may have been planted at the Shaw Jewish Community Center on White Pond Drive in Akron, Ohio, nearly 20 years ago. That’s when a tall, lanky kid from Akron named LeBron James walked onto the hardwood court and changed the game of basketball forever. Coach Keith Dambrot, now the head basketball coach at the University of Akron, conducted those sessions that attracted […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs North American Studios Look to Israel for Next Animation Hit

    North American Studios Look to Israel for Next Animation Hit

    JNS.org – In 2008, Yoram Honig was a producer and director living in Jerusalem, fresh off his first international hit, when the Jerusalem Development Authority (JDA) came to him with a challenge: build a film industry from scratch in Israel’s capital. “When we started here, was nothing in Jerusalem,” he said during an interview in his office in the Talbiya neighborhood. Now, the Jerusalem Film and Television Fund, which Honig heads as an arm of the JDA, pumps 9 million shekels […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in National Competition

    Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in National Competition

    Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas will wear a leotard bearing Hebrew lettering when she competes at the P&G Gymnastics Championships over the weekend. Douglas’ Swarovski-outlined outfit will feature the Hebrew word “Elohim,” meaning God, on its left sleeve. The Hebrew detailing honors the athlete’s “rich heritage of faith,” according to apparel manufacturer GK Elite, which produced the leotard and released a preview of it on Wednesday. The company said Douglas’ sister, Joyelle “Joy” Douglas, created the Hebrew design. The outcome of the P&G Championships will help […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports British World Heavyweight Champion Should Be Banned From Boxing for Sounding Like Hitler, Says Ukrainian Competitor

    British World Heavyweight Champion Should Be Banned From Boxing for Sounding Like Hitler, Says Ukrainian Competitor

    Britain’s world heavyweight champion, Taylor Fury, should be banned from boxing for making Nazi-like comments, a former world champion from the Ukraine said on Thursday, ahead of their upcoming match. “I was in shock at his statements about women, the gay community, and when he got to the Jewish people, he sounded like Hitler,” Wladimir Klitschko told British media, according to Reuters. “We cannot have a champion like that. Either he needs to be shut up or shut down in the ring, or […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Rabbi Shows Cooking Skills and Humor on Chopped

    Rabbi Shows Cooking Skills and Humor on Chopped

    Rabbi Hanoch Hecht just made television history; but, unfortunately, he couldn’t have his rugelach and eat it too. Hecht became the first rabbi to compete on the hit show “Chopped,” where contestants are forced to use four random ingredients in their recipes, and have 20-30 minutes to create an appetizer, a main course and a dessert. A contestant is eliminated after each round. Hecht, 32, said that while the dishes and utensils were new, the kitchen was not kosher, so he couldn’t taste […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Music Orthodox Entertainer Stars in Pepsi Max Commercial as New Face of Company’s Israel Campaign (VIDEO)

    Orthodox Entertainer Stars in Pepsi Max Commercial as New Face of Company’s Israel Campaign (VIDEO)

    Orthodox singer and entertainer Lipa Schmeltzer is starring in a new Pepsi Max commercial for the company’s campaign in Israel. The commercial begins with a bunch of Jewish men eating at a restaurant, when Schmeltzer walks in and tries to decide what to order. An employee at the obviously Israeli eatery offers him a variety of foods, but the entertainer in the end decides on a bottle of Pepsi. Everyone in the restaurant then joins him, drinking Pepsi Max and dancing to […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Book Reviews Jewish Author’s ‘Messy’ Draft Transforms Into Rock Star Novel on Amazon

    Jewish Author’s ‘Messy’ Draft Transforms Into Rock Star Novel on Amazon

    JNS.org – “Writing is a messy process,” says author Elizabeth Poliner. “People who don’t write fiction would be surprised to see what early drafts could look like.” But readers wouldn’t know “what a mess it was for the longest time,” as the Jewish author puts it, when reading Poliner’s critically acclaimed latest book, As Close to Us as Breathing. The volume garnered Amazon’s “Best Book” designation in March 2016 as well as rave reviews from the New York Times,W Magazine, NPR, […]

    Read more →