Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday announced that he has chosen his
close aide Ron Dermer as the next Israeli ambassador to the U.S. The current
ambassador, Michael Oren, said last week that he would step down this fall.
“Ron Dermer has all of the necessary traits to fill this position successfully,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “From many years of acquaintance with him, I know that Ron will loyally serve Israel in the capital of the United States.”
Oren, who grew up in New Jersey Dermer, was Israel’s first American-born ambassador to the U.S., and he will be succeeded by the second—Dermer is a native of Miami Beach, Fla.
Before Tuesday’s official announcement, Army Radio reported last month that Dermer would be appointed. Dermer’s candidacy had been in question for some time, according to the Army Radio report, as he was considered a “red sheet” in Obama administration circles for his perceived support of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in last summer’s race. But Dermer has managed to improve his ties with the Obama administration and with Secretary of State John Kerry in particular, the report said, leading the administration to remove its objection to his appointment.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) said Dermer "has a deep understanding of the critical value of the U.S.-Israel relationship and the importance of further strengthening the alliance between these two democratic allies." AIPAC added that Oren "worked tirelessly and effectively to bolster the bond between the United States and Israel. "
"His eloquence and diplomatic acumen made a significant difference, and we wish him all the best for his future endeavors," AIPAC said in a statement.
Morton A. Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America, said there is no issue that Dermer "doesn't understand to its innermost depths."
"There's not an issue he doesn't know how to respond to and explain in an effective and sophisticated way," Klein said in a statement. "He is always careful and judicious and respectful. His insights into America and Israel are without peer."
National Jewish Democratic Council Chair Marc R. Stanley said in a statement, "We very much look forward to working with Mr. Dermer in his new role as he builds upon Ambassador Oren's legacy. Together, we will continue promoting a secure, democratic Jewish State of Israel."
Dermer is "known for being a trusted and effective aide to Prime Minister Netanyahu," noted Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks.
"Responsibility for maintaining the Jewish state's most vital international alliance is a heavy one, but knowing Ron as we do, we are confident that he is up to the job," Brooks said in a statement.