Tags: Israel | israel | ambassador | ron dermer | benjamin netanyahu | address | congress

Israel Amb. Dermer: No Regrets on Netanyahu Speech, Won't Step Down

By    |   Thursday, 05 Mar 2015 07:21 PM

Israel's ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, said he has no plans to resign amid criticism that his role in organizing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress this week has soured U.S-Israeli relations.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that "if Netanyahu wishes to work with the White House, he will have no choice but to replace his protege Dermer, who is seen by the Obama administration as persona non grata, even if they don't say so publicly."

Asked about the statement Thursday on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," Dermer said he serves at the pleasure of the Israeli government and "will continue to serve every day in order to advance Israel's interests and to strengthen the relationship between the U.S. and Israel."

He said the two countries have weathered disagreements before and will do so this time.

"I believe that relationship is going to grow even stronger in the years ahead," Dermer said.

The speech was criticized by Democrats after Republican House Speaker John Boehner invited Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress without consulting Hill Democrats or the White House.

Dermer passed Boehner's invitation along to Netanyahu, but did not tell Secretary of State John Kerry. He told The Atlantic's Jeffery Goldberg he assumed Boehner would do that.

Netanyahu warned about the dangers he sees as a bad nuclear deal currently being negotiated between Iran and the P5+1 powers, led by the United States.

Asked whether he would have done anything differently in hindsight in arranging the speech, Dermer said no.

"I don't know if I could have lived with myself knowing that we had an opportunity to speak out at a critical moment on a threat to the survival of the Jewish state and we had not taken that opportunity," he said.

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Israel's Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer said he has no plans to resign amid criticism that his role in organizing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress this week has soured U.S-Israeli relations.
israel, ambassador, ron dermer, benjamin netanyahu, address, congress, resign, regrets
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2015-21-05
Thursday, 05 Mar 2015 07:21 PM
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