Ron Dermer, New Israel Envoy, Not Shy To Boast of Ties With Netanyahu

Fast-Rising Right Winger Is Pugnacious Supporter of Premier

Bibi’s Guy: Ron Dermer is famously loyal to Benjamin Netanyahu. Is that a problem now that he is representing all of Israel as the ambassador to the U.S. — not just one man?
jta
Bibi’s Guy: Ron Dermer is famously loyal to Benjamin Netanyahu. Is that a problem now that he is representing all of Israel as the ambassador to the U.S. — not just one man?

By Ron Kampeas

Published July 13, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 3)

Dermer lets little stand in his way. Oren — also U.S. born and beloved by the U.S. Jewish community — wanted to keep his job, insiders say, and the only reason he was removed is that Dermer wanted the envoy post.

Long before Dermer was formally named as the new ambassador, he was taking calls from Jewish schools and synagogues in Washington eager for his membership.

Oren and his two predecessors, Salai Meridor and Daniel Ayalon, made outreach to the U.S. Jewish community a hallmark of their tenure. Oren in particular was sensitive to anger in the Jewish community over Israel’s perceived discrimination against women and helped broker a tentative compromise that would allow for egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall.

In 2009, Dermer said he considered cultivating ties with the American Jewish community’s liberal wing a waste of time. Dermer is believed to be behind the liberal lobby J Street’s inability to secure meetings with high-level officials during its Israel trips. Oren, by contrast, has forged low-level ties with the group.

Like other Jewish groups, J Street welcomed Dermer’s appointment.

Dermer also led efforts in the Prime Minister’s Office to ban foreign funding of human rights groups in Israel, likening the groups that accepted such funding to agents of foreign powers. Some of the groups have the support of leading Jewish liberal benefactors from the United States.

Dermer’s defenders in Washington say those issues are dwarfed by the immediate challenges facing Israeli-U.S. interests in the Middle East.

“He will be an effective representative of the State of Israel generally, and Prime Minister Netanyahu specifically, as we are in a crucial period of U.S.-Israel relations with the need to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon,” said William Daroff, who directs the Jewish Federations of North America’s Washington office.

Unprompted, Foxman, Harris and Daroff all made the same point: Dermer’s closeness to Netanyahu is what will make his time in Washington a success.

“The most important thing for any ambassador in Washington, especially any Israeli ambassador, is that he brings the full trust of the prime minister,” Harris said. “That’s an asset you cannot put a price on.

“What it says to the host country is that I am sending someone in whom I have full confidence, so when you talk to him you have a direct conduit to me.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.