This NY Times article is less negative than most about Israel. However, the author does use key phrases meant to influence the reader's thinking: Gaza invasion; mounting civilian casualties; hawkish columns; opportunity to sway Netanyahu; self assurance common to...
I left out some of the comments in the article designed to paint Dermer in a negative light and to make the reader suspicious of him. The Jewish writers of the NY Times need to read the book by a Psychiatrist, Dr Kenneth Levin, Oslo Syndrome, delusions of a people under siege, although I do not think they can recover from the psychiatric illness that compels them to lie about Israel and thus to mislead their readers.
Israel’s Outspoken Envoy Is Wise to U.S. Ways
By JASON HOROWITZ JULY 25, 2014
WASHINGTON — As an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, Ron Dermer reluctantly accepted an assignment to argue that Israel should be condemned for its treatment of Palestinians. “You’ll do it or I’ll flunk you,” his professor, the Republican pollster Frank Luntz, recalled telling Mr. Dermer, the quick-witted son of a prominent Miami Beach family. Mr. Dermer, unrelenting, turned in such a passionate performance that Mr. Luntz declared him the debate’s victor. Mr. Dermer celebrated with a call to his Israeli-born mother. “How did you do it?” Yaffa Dermer recalled asking incredulously. “I lied,” Mr. Dermer said. “Like they do.” More than two decades and a renounced American citizenship later, Mr. Dermer is the Israeli ambassador to the United States, with such a close relationship to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he has been called “Bibi’s brain.” He is now at liberty to make a full-throated case for Israel.
In recent weeks, he has countered criticism of Israel’sinvasion of Gaza and its mounting civilian toll in at least 55 television, radio and print interviews. He has also made Israel’s case on Capitol Hill, in briefings with administration officials and at a Christians United for Israel summit on Monday night at the Washington Convention Center. There, he responded to protesters who shouted “war criminal” by calling them “moral idiots” and asserting, “The truth is that the Israeli Defense Forces should be given a Nobel Peace Prize.”
Because of Mr. Dermer’s unabashed hawkishness and his role in organizing Mitt Romney’s 2012 visit to Israel, White House officials — including Denis McDonough, President Obama’s chief of staff — long resisted his appointment, according to people close to the administration. But in the renewed push last year for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, Secretary of State John Kerry, who attended Mr. Dermer’s Passover Seder this spring, thought having a Netanyahu confidant close at hand would present an opportunity to sway the prime minister. That turned out to be a misreading. Nearly 10 months after Mr. Dermer became ambassador, it is clear in Washington that he is his boss’s ideological twin. “I can authoritatively speak for the prime minister here,” he said during a nearly two-hour interview on Thursday in the heavily fortified Israeli Embassy in Washington. “I think people understand that.” A 43-year-old father of five, he spoke in a blizzard of words interrupted only by a call from Mr. Netanyahu. “There were people who thought I was going to play politics, that I was going to rally Congress, Republicans,” he added. “But I was confident that after I got here, after I worked for a few months, they would understand that I was here to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship.” On Friday, Mr. Netanyahu’s man in America was in constant contact with the prime minister about a possible cease-fire, and in recent weeks he has spoken often with Mr. McDonough. He has worked with Antony J. Blinken, the deputy national security adviser, on requests for American money to repair Israel’s Iron Dome defense system and on lifting the Federal Aviation Administration’s ban on flights to Israel.
It was Mr. Dermer who helped arrange a meeting between Mr. Netanyahu and former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York after Mr. Bloomberg pushed the case that the Tel Aviv airport was safe by taking what was, for him, a rare commercial flight. “I told him, ‘There’s no limit to the sacrifices you are willing to make for the Jewish people,’ ” Mr. Dermer said. As Mr. Bloomberg spoke on an Israeli television station playing behind him, Mr. Dermer leaned back, exhibiting the self-assurance common to former residents of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity houses — he accepted the fraternity’s Man of the Year award that evening — and the competitive streak of a Hall of Fame Israeli flag football quarterback. Weeks before Mr. Dermer’s bar mitzvah, his father died of a heart attack. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” Mr. Dermer said at the start of his bar mitzvah speech. He applied only to the University of Pennsylvania for its top Wharton business school and started a multicollege business selling “exam buster” study aides with answers to previous tests. Then he enrolled in a political class taught by Mr. Luntz. “You did not want to have a verbal argument with him,” said Jefrey Pollock, a leading Democratic pollster who was in the same class. “You were destined to lose.” Mr. Dermer graduated in 1993, worked with Mr. Luntz on projects including Republicans’ 1994 takeover of the House of Representatives, and then went to Oxford University in England. There, he hung on his wall an Israeli flag given to his father by a Miss Israel during a beauty pageant in Miami Beach. The flag led to debates and friendships with Muslims, one of whom visited Mr. Dermer’s Miami Beach home for a Seder and returned to Pakistan with boxes of matzo. By that time, Israel had captured Mr. Dermer’s imagination. “Israel is perceived internationally as this big bully,” he said. “I saw it very differently.” In 1995, Mr. Dermer worked in Israel with the Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky — Mr. Luntz was the connection — to establish a new immigrant party. In 1997, he began the process of becoming an Israeli immigrant himself. Mr. Dermer spent the next years writing hawkish columns for The Jerusalem Post and informally advising Mr. Netanyahu, whose term as prime minister had ended in 1999. (The two had met through Mr. Sharansky.) In 2004, Mr. Dermer and Mr. Sharansky published a book, “The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror,” which captivated President George W. Bush and helped shape his foreign policy. The next year, Mr. Netanyahu, then Israel’s finance minister, appointed his protégé as economic envoy at the Israeli Embassy in Washington. When Mr. Netanyahu became prime minister again in 2009, Mr. Dermer joined him in the Aquarium, as Israelis call their leader’s glass-encased inner sanctum. In the subsequent years of negotiations, some American officials viewed Mr. Dermer as an essential back-channel broker with the influence to get deals done. Israeli officials said Mr. Netanyahu had wanted to keep Mr. Dermer close through the end of his term and the establishment of a new coalition. They disputed the notions that White House concerns had delayed his appointment and that he was especially close to Republicans. Once in Washington, though, he found a receptive audience among Republicans, arguing to Congress that Mr. Obama was dangerously reducing pressure on Iran and that Israel’s actions in Gaza were necessary, despite the civilian casualties. “The price of sovereignty is imperfection,” Mr. Dermer said, in a riff that could have come from the lips of his mentor. “And if people can see that and recognize it, they can be a little more understanding that Israel, given its challenges, is a truly remarkable country. That’s why I said this week the I.D.F. deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. I wasn’t joking.