Ambassador Ron Dermer, Ambassador of Israel to the United States
Moderated by Laura Blumenfeld, Senior Fellow, The Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies
November 28, 2016
Israel's ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, visited the Washington, DC campus to speak with students, alumni, and guests about the current challenges facing Israel and the US in world affairs. The discussion covered a wide array of topics, including the Iran nuclear deal, ISIS, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Syrian conflict, and the future of the US-Israel relationship in the new administration of President-elect, Donald Trump.
Dermer described his government's position on the Iran nuclear deal and clarified that Israel opposes its automatic removal of restrictions on centrifuge development and uranium enrichment after 10 and 15 years, respectively. By reverting to the status quo once the terms expire, Iran stays on a path to nuclear armament, Israel argues.
Dermer highlighted the strengthening ties between Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Cyprus, and other states in the region. Thanks to constructive dialogue with Arab neighbors, Israel is less isolated today than it has ever been.
Another positive development is Israel's leadership in cyber-security technology. The relatively small country today accounts for 20 percent of all foreign direct investment in the global cyber-security market.
Fielding questions from the audience, Dermer gave his perspective on the common values of Israelis and Americans, and the perceptions that the United States is seeking to disengage from the Middle East.