Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassador to the United States, held a Twitter Q&A on Thursday morning, and it turned out as one would expect. The chat, which lasted roughly 45 minutes, fueled the Twitter hashtag #AskDermer. Click on it and you'll find a growing archive of cynicism and outrage directed at Israel and its Operation Protective Edge, the 10-day-old bombing campaign against Islamist militants in Gaza that has led to the deaths of more than 200 Palestinians.
These are examples of questions he didn't quite answer.
Is it hard to type on an iPhone with blood on your hands? #AskDermer— Jeb Lund (@Mobute) July 17, 2014
If Hamas apologized for hurting civilians, could they also continue sending rockets in pursuit of their political ends? #AskDermer— Hend (@LibyaLiberty) July 17, 2014
But, to Dermer's credit, he did engage others and seemed up for a fight. He labeled Israel's critics on Twitter a "small vocal minority."
.@APDiploWriter Small vocal minority. Appreciate broad strong support 4 Israel's right to defend itself throughout America & internationally— Amb. Ron Dermer (@AmbDermer) July 17, 2014
And then played the America card, a common Israeli rhetorical tactic, asking how the United States would deal with the crisis if it faced similar threats.
.@akahnnyc Ask yourself the WWAD question. What would America do if 200 millions were sitting in bomb shelters as rockets were fired?— Amb. Ron Dermer (@AmbDermer) July 17, 2014
He reiterated Israeli talking points:
.@fullyspectrumed Israel cares more about Pal civilians in Gaza than Hamas. We try to get them out of harms way. They put them in harm's way— Amb. Ron Dermer (@AmbDermer) July 17, 2014
And responded to leftist American critics:
.@OccupyWallStNYC UN called 4 Jewish state & Arab state. It was a recognition of historical/legal/moral right of Jewish ppl 2 their homeland— Amb. Ron Dermer (@AmbDermer) July 17, 2014
Dermer ended with a tweet that could be interpreted as a sarcastic shrug but, given the combative nature of the conversation, was more of a "bring it on" challenge to Israel's critics.
Thanks everyone for those softballs. Looking forward to some even tougher questions next time. #AskDermer— Amb. Ron Dermer (@AmbDermer) July 17, 2014