Netanyahu Appoints Ron Dermer Israeli Ambassador to Washington

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has chosen American-born adviser Ron Dermer to succeed Michael Oren as ambassador to the U.S., the prime minister’s office said today in a text message.

“Ron Dermer has every attribute necessary to successfully fill this important position,” Netanyahu said in the message. “From our many years of acquaintance, I know that Ron will loyally represent Israel in the capital of our greatest ally, the U.S.”

Dermer, 42, was born and raised in Miami Beach, where both his father and brother served as mayor. He immigrated to Israel after earning a bachelor’s degree in finance and management from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and a master’s in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University, the text message said.

Dermer worked as a political consultant for Soviet dissident-turned Israeli politician Natan Sharansky and co-authored with him the best-selling “The Case for Democracy.” In 2005, then-finance minister Netanyahu appointed him as minister for economic affairs at the Washington embassy.

He has worked in the prime minister’s office for the past four years, focusing on foreign policy and serving as a key adviser on issues such as the Iranian nuclear program and the peace process with the Palestinians.

Israel’s Army Radio said last month that some associates of President Barack Obama were uncomfortable with the prospect of Dermer’s appointment because they thought he had quietly supported Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Before moving to Israel, Dermer worked with Frank Luntz, a pollster who frequently advises Republican candidates and politicians.

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