With the choice of Ron Dermer as Israel’s next Ambassador to the U.S., Prime Minister Netanyahu finally will have his man in Washington, one he trusts completely and who shares his worldview.
Dermer’s name first came to the public attention as a possible candidate about six months ago.
A native of Florida, he has served Netanyahu’s most senior advisor and consultant and will succeed Michael Oren (also born in the U.S.), a highly praised historian and author who was a highly effective public face of Israel here, though given low grades by colleagues for his managerial skills.
Both men exemplify qualities of proud Americans and committed Zionists, men who gave up promising careers in the U.S., and their American citizenship, to live in and work for the State of Israel.
Dermer, 42, is a gifted writer, having crafted speeches for the prime minister and co-authored Natan Sharansky’s 2005 book, “The Case For Democracy.” He was believed to be close to the Mitt Romney presidential campaign and comes from a political family. His father, Jay, was mayor of Miami Beach, as was his brother, David.
Dermer made aliyah in 1996, soon after receiving degrees from the Wharton School of Finance and Oxford University. He is a skilled orator and shows flashes of feistiness in discussion and debate.
He served as minister of economic affairs at the Israeli Embassy in Washington from 2005 to 2007, appointed by then-finance minister Netanyahu, and had to revoke his U.S. citizenship to take the post.
Oren, 48, who gave up his U.S. citizenship in 2009 to become ambassador, has taught at several prominent universities in Israel and the U.S., and written books on Mideast history, including “Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East.”
He plans to write another book on the Mideast after he leaves Washington.