Ron Dermer reportedly named next ambassador to US

Key Netanyahu adviser recovers in race for coveted post, unconfirmed radio report says

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s senior adviser Ron Dermer will be appointed Israeli ambassador to the United States, Army Radio reported on Friday.

Dermer will take over the key post in August, succeeding another US-born political appointee, Michael Oren, who has held the job for the past four years, the report said.

The radio report was not confirmed by the Prime Minister’s Office, and Channel 10 News claimed on Friday night that the appointment was not sealed, that Oren has been told he will retain his position until October, and that senior Likud minister Gilad Erdan has told Netanyahu he wants the ambassador’s job.

Dermer was long groomed for the job, but his prospects reportedly nosedived due to his perceived support for Republican candidate Mitt Romney in the recent US presidential elections.

However, the report said, he has since improved his ties with key Obama administration figures, notably Secretary of State John Kerry, paving the way for his appointment.

Dermer, who immigrated to Israel from Florida in 1998, has served under Netanyahu since 2009 as senior adviser in the Prime Minister’s Bureau, where he acted as liaison to the White House.

A December 2012 report that Dermer was set to take over for Oren was denied outright by the Israeli Embassy in Washington.

A Tablet magazine feature last year said Dermer “has done more to shape Israel’s relationship with the United States, its Arab neighbors, and the Palestinians over the past few years than any man aside from the prime minister himself.”

Married with four children, Dermer is an engaging and effective advocate for Netanyahu’s world view, one insider said.

He co-wrote Natan Sharansky’s bestselling “The Case for Democracy” and has served in Israel’s Washington Embassy as minister for economic affairs.

JTA contributed to this report.

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