Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu names top advisor as next U.S. ambassador


JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday that top advisor Ron Dermer will become the country’s next ambassador to the United States.

Dermer is expected to replace Ambassador Michael Oren, whose four-year term ends this fall. Dermer worked closely with Netanyahu as a senior advisor during the last four years.

“Ron Dermer has all the qualities to successfully fill this important post,” Netanyahu said Tuesday.


Dermer, who is from Florida, moved to Israel in 1997. He is not widely known among the Israeli public but plays a key role in shaping policy as Netanyahu’s chief strategist and speechwriter.

Israeli news media describe his positions on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process as more conservative than Netanyahu’s. Dermer reportedly said in 2009 that a two-state solution is “a childish solution to a complicated problem.”

Israeli news outlets have reported that Dermer’s ties to U.S. Republicans could harm his relationship with the Obama administration, but that his closeness to Netanyahu could be an advantage in Washington.

According to a report in the Hebrew daily Maariv, Dermer recently visited Washington and met with senior officials, including Secretary of State John F. Kerry.


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Sobelman is a news assistant in The Times’ Jerusalem bureau.