Israeli officials have denied newspaper reportes that Ron Dremer, an aide to Benjamin Netanyahu with close ties to Republicans, would be taking over as Israel’s ambassador to the U.S.
It took Israeli officials more than 24 hours, perhaps due to the Sabbath in which government offices do not work, in order to issue a broad denial to the report, which first appeared in Israel’s Makor Rishon newspaper on Friday.
“The report is baseless,” said Aaron Sagui, spokesman of the Israeli embassy in Washington. The embassy’s statement came after receiving clarifications from the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem. Sagui added: “No decision has been made regarding the next ambassador to the United States or the timing of appointing a new ambassador.”
He said Ambassador Michael Oren “is continuing in his position as planned.”
Oren will complete a four year tenure this summer, but Israeli law does not limit the term of political appointed ambassadors such as Oren.
Ron Dremer, who was born in the U.S. and now serves as Netanyahu’s adviser, is known for his close ties to the Republican Party and according to reports he was the driving force behind the warm welcome losing presidential candidate Mitt Romney received during his July visit to Jerusalem.
Nathan Guttman, staff writer, is the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.