Ambassador Dermer?


Israel TV’s Channel 10 Tuesday reported that the United States has withdrawn objections to the appointment of Ron Dermer as the next Israel ambassador to the U.S., replacing Michael Oren. Back in December, rumors circulated that Dermer would be the next ambassador after the Israeli daily Makor Rishon reported that Oren had requested to end his tenure this spring, when he will have completed a four-year stint.

At that time, news reports indicated that the White House was not receptive to the suggestion of Dermer as the next ambassador because of his right-of-center leanings. Dermer, who immigrated to Israel from Florida in 1998, has served under Benjamin Netanyahu as senior adviser in the Prime Minister’s Bureau since 2009, where he acted as liaison to the White House.

Gil Hoffman, chief analyst and political correspondent for The Jerusalem Post, confirmed the earlier reports and said Dermer “was considered too Republican. If now, they [the administration] realize it is more important to have someone close to Netanyahu — as Dermer is — and so familiar with his thinking than it is to have someone more in line with the administration, it shows they understand what is truly important.”

Hoffman called Dermer “brilliant” and said no one understands the Israeli PM better.

The analyst also pointed out that Netanyahu and President Barack Obama are “getting along better now.” He said if the relationship had been hostile, Dermer may have deepened that rift. But now, both parties are “making a concerted effort to make things better. There is no reason not to appoint [Dermer].”

Hoffman said he cannot say when a final decision will be made; Netanyahu may wait until mid to late summer.

“Why not wait until the last minute?” Hoffman asked. “This is Israel.”

A spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in Washington said, “We do not have a comment at this time.”

Maayan Jaffe is managing editor of the Baltimore Jewish Times, WJW’s sister publication.

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