Although the American administration views Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as a partner for Middle East peace, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer says that it is “an embarrassment that anyone in the world embraces this man as a peacemaker.”
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“Well, we should not be surprised,” Dermer added. “After all, the same people who embrace Abbas libel the soldiers of the IDF as war criminals .Despite the fact that no army in history has gone to greater lengths to get the civilians of the other side out of harm’s way.”
Dermer was speaking in San Antonio on Sunday at “A Night to Honor Israel” organized by Evangelical pastor John Hagee, found of Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Often described as “the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States," Hagee and CUFI often align with the most right-wing positions of Israeli politics and have been described as “extremist” by former Reform leader Rabbi Eric Yoffie.
Dermer described Iran as “a monster” and its spiritual leader Ayatollah Khamenei as “an evil wild eyed fanatic looking to rule the world.” The Israeli envoy, whose relations with the Obama administration are often described as strained, said that Israel is concerned about a possible nuclear deal with Tehran that would leave Iran “on the threshold of developing the world’s most dangerous weapons." He scoffed at efforts to reassure Israel about it.
“We’re told not to worry, that UN inspectors will prevent Iran from breaking out or sneaking out to build the bomb. Well, I’m sure you all feel as safe as I do knowing that a few Inspector Clouseaus at the UN is all that stands between fanatic Ayatollahs and nuclear bombs.”
Peppering his speech with extensive references from the Bible as well as vintage Americana such as the 1980’s TV series Dukes of Hazzard, Dermer said that despite the dangers, he was “supremely confident” of Israel’s future “because of the strength and leadership of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”
Dermer railed against criticism over Israel’s recent campaign in Gaza, saying “We have had to defend the truth in a world of lies. A world in which Israel, a nation that shows unprecedented compassion against genocidal enemies, is itself shamelessly accused of genocide.” He said that Abbas’ recent UN speech, in which he accused Israel of genocide, was a “disgrace” and that the depiction of Israel as “occupiers in the Land of Israel” was “a Big Lie."
“When the people of Israel are in the Land of Israel, we’re not occupiers. We are home,” Dermer said.