Israel Names Ron Dermer as New Ambassador to U.S.
Ron Dermer has been named to replace Michael Oren as Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu told The Algemeiner on Tuesday, confirming recent media speculation.
In an email to reporters Prime Minister Netanyahu added praise for Dermer. “Ron Dermer has all the qualities necessary to successfully fill this important post. I have known him for many years and I know that Ron will faithfully represent the State of Israel in the capital of our greatest ally – the USA. On behalf of the citizens of Israel, I wish him great success,” he said.
According to Israel’s Ma’ariv newspaper Dermer recently visited the United States where he met with U.S. officials including Secretary of State John Kerry and leaders of American Jewish organizations including several affiliated with the liberal left.
According to the report the purpose of the visit was to secure “confirmation” that a successful working relationship could be established between Dermer, who is perceived by some to identify with the Republican party, and the U.S. government.
Earlier today, Ayala Hasson, diplomatic correspondent for Israel’s Channel 1 TV tweeted: “Ron Dermer is the new Ambassador to U.S”
She later added that Dermer met with U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shaprio Tuesday.
Like Oren, Dermer is also an American citizen who became an Israeli. The son and brother of former Miami Beach mayors, Dermer also gained fame by playing in Israel’s American football league.
He rose to political prominence through a book co-written with Natan Sharansky, now head of the Jewish Agency.
According to a 2010 profile in Politico, the book, called “The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror,” caught the attention of former U.S. President George W. Bush, who said the text “confirmed what I believe,” and became a cornerstone of what is now known as the Bush Doctrine.
“Dermer was a key strategist in Netanyahu’s campaign for prime minister and was rewarded with a post that is much larger than political adviser, one that encompasses virtually everything the prime minister touches,” Politico said.
As finance minister, current Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu gave Dermer the job of minister for economic affairs in the American Embassy, for which Dermer had to renounce his U.S. citizenship.
“I left America because I wanted to help another nation I love defend the freedoms that Americans have long taken for granted. I left America to help another people I love fight not merely for their survival but also for their right to survive,” Dermer told Politico.
“Ron’s a guy with deeply held beliefs, and we certainly don’t always agree. A lot of diplomatic relationships could use a healthy dose of couple’s therapy, if only because the conversation would improve if each side could understand the other’s perspective. But that’s not the case with Ron,” Jonathan Prince a frequent Dermer contact, told Politico. “I loved working with him because, even in the midst of a tough conversation, we could always step back and see where the other guy was coming from.”
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who has known Dermer for twenty years and served as his Rabbi at Oxford University praised Dermer’s “command of facts,” in an interview with The Algemeiner.
“Everyone in the media is focusing on how close he is to the Prime Minister,” Boteach said, but “right now Israel is engaged in a war of words and Ron is a words warrior.”
“He also knows how to really show that the arguments made by Israel’s enemies don’t hold water,” Boteach added, “He has an inner love for Israel that is unmatched.”
Dermer is 42, married and the father of five children. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business and holds a master’s degree in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford, according to the Prime Minister’s office.