Addressing 18,000 attendees at the AIPAC policy conference, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer stated he believes that Israel continues to have strong bipartisan support in the United States.
He added that supporting both America and Israel is “supporting two of the greatest forces for good” in the world.
“Israel will be the most important ally for the United States in the 21st century. I am supremely confident of that,” said Dermer.
Dermer’s comments come on the eve of an historic announcement, when U.S. President Donald Trump has announced his intention to officially recognize Israeli sovereignty of the Golan Heights, a region that was captured from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War. “It has taken us 51 years to achieve just as great an accomplishment, a diplomatic victory,” he said.
“The people of Israel are very grateful to President Trump,” he said.
Dermer added that the announcement “sends a strong message to the enemies of Israel and the people of Israel that America stands with Israel.”
Yet, he noted, Trump’s decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty in the Golan was not the most important decision he has made for Israel. “The most critical decision that President Trump has made was to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and reintroduce sanctions against Iran,” said Dermer.
Without mentioning former U.S. President Barack Obama by name, Dermer slammed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.
“The wrong path was to sign that nuclear deal. That deal does not block Iran’s path to nuclear weapons. It made Iran more dangerous. It made war more likely,” Dermer said, while noting that Prime Minister Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s public objection to the Iran deal from the floor of the U.S. Congress was “perhaps my proudest day as ambassador of Israel.”
Dermer also said that Trump’s withdrawal from the deal did not end it. “There are still parties to the deal. That deal is still alive. There are those calling for returning to the deal.”
Dermer says that more work needs to be done to end the deal. “What has to happen is what happened in Warsaw, when Vice President Mike Pence called for European nations to withdraw from the deal. What has to happen is the Iran deal needs to go into the dustbin of history,” Dermer said.
Dermer also suggested that Israeli opposition to the deal has helped it improve its relations with its Arab neighbors, in what he called “a silver lining in a very dark cloud.”
“Today, many Arab nations see Israel as an ally,” Dermer stated.
“Arab nations want to see the end to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. I don’t think that was the case 15 years ago,” he said.
Addressing a growing BDS movement, he said that boycotting Israel is “sort of like Oregon, Nevada, Arizona and half of California boycotting Silicon Valley. It doesn’t make any sense,” due to the impressive technology Israel offers in all walks of life.
Dermer said that “supporters of BDS should start working about boycotting them. BDS is a moral attack and we need to fight it on moral terms.”
Addressing the now-stalled peace process, and the potential for the process to be rekindled by President Trump in the coming weeks, Dermer implied that the foundations for peace have not been laid by the Palestinian Authority.
“In Ramallah is a government that pays Palestinian terrorists to terrorize Jews,” he stated. “Until the Palestinians abandon the idea that they are going to destroy Israel, there will not be a chance for peace.