WASHINGTON, DC – Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer says he believes “Israel is going to be the most important ally of the United States in the 21st century.”
“I believe Israel is going to be the most important ally of the United States in the 21st century,” Dermer said during the final session of the fourth annual Israeli-American Council’s National Conference at the Walter E. Convention Center in Washington, DC.
He attributed the reason for this to that fact that “for the foreseeable future … most of the major security challenges facing the United States are going to emanate from the Middle East,” adding, “And you do not have another reliable partner, that is democratic, in that region.”
Asked by senior defense correspondent for Israel’s Channel 10 Alon Ben David if he agrees that Israel has never had a greater ally in the United States than President Donald Trump, Dermer said, “I agree.”
Even Democrats from the Obama administration have stated that President Trump has “a more intimate relationship with the Jewish people than any other president in the history of the United States of America.”
However, unlike the majority of Democrats and the Obama administration, Dermer noted, “Israel opposed the nuclear deal with Iran. And Israel still opposes the nuclear deal with Iran.”
He said that “it wasn’t a question of not getting our [Israel’s] views across,” during the Obama’s presidency, noting that the former president met with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu many times. “It’s that we disagreed. We disagreed on the role Iran is playing in the region. We did not think, as some people in the previous administration did, that Iran was part of the solution to problems in the Middle East. We thought they were the problem in the Middle East.”
Dermer argued that the Iranian regime is a problem in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and Gaza.
Speaking of the challenges presented by the Obama administration, Dermer said, “A testament to the U.S.-Israel relationship is when you can have a strong relationship despite those disagreements.” He added, “Things are tested under fire. And it’s when we had these big disagreements that the U.S.-Israel relationship was getting stronger, which I think tells you everything you need to know.”
Dermer said that, to the extent that the United States does not wish to deploy more troops in the Middle East, Israel serves as a critical ally in the region. “And if you think about who is the best partner for the United States, around the world, in keeping its own citizens safe and its allies safe on the security side—and also making its citizens more prosperous with all the technology that’s happening in Israel—I think Israel is the most important ally of the United States and I think the alliance will grow much stronger in the years ahead.”
House Foreign Affairs Chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Rep. Joe Wilson (R-CA), Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), and Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) also participated in panels during the conference’s closing session.
Sherman noted that, for the most part, “support for Israel continues to be a bipartisan objective.” He also called upon members of his party to abandon their “Trump Derangement Syndrome” where anything Trump says prompts Democrats to be filled with the need to do the opposite. He half-jokingly said he was happy Trump didn’t tweet on Mother’s Day because his constituents would have pushed him to come out against the holiday.
Royce said Iran “is the greatest threat” right now, but noted that “one point of control we do have is over the ICBM program.” He said the United States has to get back to the point where we can “give the ayatollahs a choice between economic collapse and the nuclear program.” He said the U.S. has “leverage to force the Europeans on this issue” of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
“Regime change should be the objective here,” Royce said, drawing upon President Ronald Reagan’s ability to end Communism in Europe when two-thirds of the population raised their voices against the oppressive political system. “Two-thirds of the people in Iran today tell Gallop they want a western-style democracy with no theocracy,” Royce said. “We should have been reaching out to the people of Iran with the idea of getting their voices out over the radio and TV.”