Likud's Danon criticizes appointment of Ron Dermer as minister

Dermer, a former ambassador to the United States, was appointed Israel's strategic affairs minister by Netanyahu.

 Ron Dermer, Israel's new strategic affairs minister, enters the Knesset plenum on December 29, 2022. (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Ron Dermer, Israel's new strategic affairs minister, enters the Knesset plenum on December 29, 2022.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Likud MK Danny Danon criticized on Sunday the appointment of former Israeli ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer as a minister in the new government. 

Dermer had been rumored to be a candidate for foreign minister. In the end, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Likud MK Eli Cohen to the position, which he announced alongside Dermer’s appointment.

The former ambassador will sit in the security cabinet and help Netanyahu run Israel-US relations in his role as minister of strategic affairs. 

Former UN ambassador Danny Danon at the Ruderman Foundation's conference on Israel in American politics, April 20, 2021.  (credit: OREN COHEN)Former UN ambassador Danny Danon at the Ruderman Foundation's conference on Israel in American politics, April 20, 2021. (credit: OREN COHEN)

"I know Ron Dermer and respect him," Danon, a former ambassador to the United Nations, told Army Radio. "But there is criticism of [Yair] Lapid when he brings his trainer or his friend [into government] and we have made the same mistake. The method of appointing someone as a minister who did not run in the primaries is problematic.

Danon was skipped over by Netanyahu and did not receive a ministerial appointment. 

Danon mentioned Yuli Edelstein, a former minister and Knesset speaker, who was also skipped over and not appointed to a ministry, who could have filled the role. "We need to be with the reins. If we let our partners run things we will wake up every day to an international crisis," he said. 

Danon is part of a group of disappointed MKs who did not get appointments by Netanyahu. The list includes Danon, Edelstein, Dudi Amsalem and David Bitan. 

There are still a number of government positions left, such as regional cooperation minister, and Netanyahu may still attempt to appease some of these disappointed MKs, but it remains to be seen how this affects the Likud and the coalition’s operations.