Meet Ron Dermer, Israel’s new ambassador to the U.S.

July 9, 2013

JERUSALEM -- Israel officially announced Tuesday that Ron Dermer, a longtime aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is set to become the country’s next ambassador in Washington.

Dermer, who was born in Florida and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business and of Oxford University, will replace Ambassador Michael Oren, who is due to end his term in September or October.

In a statement released by his office Tuesday, Netanyahu said that Dermer has “all the qualities necessary to successfully fill this important post.”

“I have known him for many years and I know that Ron will faithfully represent the State of Israel in the capital of our greatest ally – the USA. On behalf of the citizens of Israel, I wish him great success," the statement read.

Immediately following the announcement, Ambassador Oren tweeted congratulations to his successor and noted: “As Ron's close friend & long-time colleague, I know that he's uniquely qualified & is deeply committed to the historic US-Israel alliance.”

Dermer was born in Miami and moved to Israel in 1997. He has worked within Netanyahu’s inner circle as a political adviser for the past four years.

Haaretz reported in December that Dermer's family in Miami Beach has "close ties with the Bush family, particularly with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush."

Some of Dermer's policy positions are seen as more conservative than Netanyahu's. In a 2009 article published by online news outlet Ynet, Dermer was quoted as calling the two-state solution "childish." He later modified his comments, saying he had been referring to the media's coverage of the issue, which he said did not address the "real problem."

Before he started working for Netanyahu, he wrote a column for The Jerusalem Post called "The Numbers Game." In 2004, he published a book called "The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror," co-authored with Natan Sharansky, a politician and now the head of the Jewish Agency for Israel.

In recent months, Dermer’s ties with the Obama administration, including Secretary of State John Kerry, have improved, according to The Times of Israel.

Ruth Eglash is a correspondent for The Washington Post based in Jerusalem. She was formerly a reporter and senior editor at the Jerusalem Post and freelanced for international media.
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Max Fisher | July 9, 2013