Boston Bombing Will Boost U.S. Support for Israel, Says
WATCH: More Americans identify with Israel after
terror attacks, says Ron Dermer, possible next Israeli envoy to
Washington, to U.S. Jewish leaders.
By Barak Ravid
April 22, 2013 "Information
Clearing House" -"Haaretz"
- Ron Dermer,
a diplomatic advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and
candidate for the post of Israeli ambassador to Washington, told
a closed meeting of U.S. Jewish leaders in New York last week
that the Boston marathon bombings would increase American
support for Israel - just as that support increased following
the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
made his remarks last Wednesday, two days after explosions
rocked the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding
nearly 200 more. Dermer, considered one of Netanyahu's closest
associates, is currently on vacation, after having finished his
stint as a senior adviser at the Prime Minister's Bureau.
"The bulk of the American people stand firmly with Israel and
identify with Israel," Dermer said, in a video filmed by blogger
Jacob Kornbluh. "If you can look, historically, there was a big
change after 9/11, and I am sure that after the tragic bombing
in Boston, people will identify more with Israel and its
struggle against terrorism and we can maintain that support."
During his briefing with the Jewish leaders, Dermer surveyed the
situation in the Middle East, and also gave them a glimpse at
Netanyahu's position regarding a possible Israeli strike on
Iran's nuclear facilities.
"Netanyahu is very prudent in the use of force," Dermer said.
"One columnist once called him a trigger-happy prime minister -
that is ridiculous. He is the least trigger-happy prime minister
Israel has ever had. When he uses force, he wants to do it
wisely and when it is critical to Israel's security. He is the
second-longest-serving prime minister in the history of Israel
after [David] Ben-Gurion – and like Ben-Gurion I believe that,
when push comes to shove, he will face all the pressure in the
world and will do what is necessary to protect Israel."
Dermer also discussed the situation in the West Bank, saying the
reality there has changed for the worse. "If you look at the
situation today in the West Bank, we are dealing with a
different reality," he said. "Some people are worried by a third
intifada. I don’t know if that is going to happen, but there is
no question that there is a sense that the pot is beginning to
Dermer said that the resignation last week of Palestinian Prime
Minister Salam Fayyad will not benefit peacemaking efforts. "In
my view Fayyad was the first Palestinian leader in a century who
cared about the Palestinians," Dermer said.
"There have been many Palestinian leaders that cared about the
Palestinian cause, but Fayyad is the first to actually care
about the Palestinians. From that point of view - not because he
is a Zionist - he was a peace partner, because he wanted a
better life for them. Any Palestinian leader who wants a better
life for the Palestinians would want to have peace with Israel."
Dermer also remarked on Israel's regional status, and emphasized
that Netanyahu's diplomacy has focused on resolving secondary
issues to make way for the real strategic issues facing Israel.
He cited the cease-fire with Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip and
the rapprochement with Turkey as two examples of this approach.
"We have to try and move as many non-strategic issues off the
table," he said. "We are facing many fronts simultaneously…. The
best juggler in the world could deal with five, six or seven
balls – eventually one will drop."
With regard to Hamas, Dermer said, "Nobody is under any
illusions about Hamas, but when it comes to threats facing
Israel, they are going to have to wait in line because we've got
bigger fish we need to deal with." He said the same goes for
Turkey: "No one is under any illusions about the Turkish
government, but if we can remove something from the agenda, take
half of it off the plate with a minimal price, then that's what
we have to do."
Dermer also discussed the situation in Egypt and Jordan,
comparing the Sinai Peninsula with the "Wild West" of terror
groups. "The situation in Sinai is completely unstable and
almost every terror group in the region is setting up shop over
there," he said.
Meanwhile, in Israel's other neighbor Jordan, King Abdullah is
facing unprecedented pressure since taking the throne: He faces
enormous political challenges and demands for reform, Dermer
told the crowd.
Finally, Dermer also denied claims from American experts that
Israel fudged data about the performance of Iron Dome
anti-missile defense system rockets.
"I was with the prime minister in the war room during the war
[in Gaza]," he said. "When the IDF chief of staff walks into the
room, it's what we would call a 'no-spin zone.' In that room,
you have to tell the truth to the prime minister, because it’s a
matter of life and death. Iron Dome works, and it works
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