Source close to PM: Decision on DC post not yet final

Netanyahu has changed mind on key decisions at the last minute in the past, source says.

July 8, 2013 03:03
1 minute read.
Ron Dermer

Ron Dermer 370. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision to appoint his former senior adviser Ron Dermer as ambassador to Washington is not final and can still be changed at the last minute, a source close to Netanyahu said Sunday.

While officials at the embassy in Washington have said they know that Dermer will be their next boss, the source noted that Netanyahu had changed his mind on key decisions at the last minute many times in the past.

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Netanyahu told the weekly cabinet meeting that a replacement for Israel’s ambassador to Washington Michael Oren would be named “in the coming days.” This was Netanyahu’s first public comment on the “ambassador sweepstakes” that for months have been swirling around the appointment of a new ambassador to Washington.

Netanyahu praised Oren during the cabinet meeting as an “exemplary” and “excellent” ambassador who has done “very, very important work.”

Oren announced over the weekend that he would be leaving the embassy in the fall after serving in that post for four years.

Sources close to Dermer have denied reports of problems between him and the administration in Washington and that he supported Republican candidate Mitt Romney against US President Barack Obama.

Dermer, who has served in the embassy in the past, is said to prefer the Washington appointment to being ambassador to the United Nations, because the White House can be persuaded while there is an automatic majority against Israel in the UN.

Yediot Aharonot reported over the weekend that Communications Minister Gilad Erdan was interested in becoming the ambassador in Washington. A source close to Erdan called the report nonsense.

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