Gilad Erdan’s appointment was received warmly by many pro-Israel groups in the U.S.
By Jackson Richman, JNS
Jewish and pro-Israel groups reacted positively to Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Minister of Information Gilad Erdan’s appointment as the Jewish state’s next ambassador to the United States and the United Nations, succeeding Ron Dermer and Danny Danon, respectively.
“I am proud and excited for the privilege of being able to fight on behalf of the righteousness of our path in the international arena, and to defend Israel in light of the challenges ahead,” said Erdan in a statement.
AIPAC spokesperson Marshall Wittmann told JNS, “We congratulate Minister Erdan, who brings impressive credentials to these important posts. We look forward to working with him to further strengthen the relationship and cooperation between the two countries at the United Nations.”
“[He] is a committed public servant with deep connections to the American Jewish community,” said the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in a statement. “His most recent postings provide him with extraordinary credentials for representing Israel in the diplomatic arena at the United Nations, and with Israel’s greatest friend and ally, the United States of America.”
B’nai B’rith International CEO Daniel Mariaschin told JNS, “With bias and double standards the rule at the United Nations, Erdan’s unique experience in battling BDS and other issues impacting Israel’s security make him a sound choice for these positions. No question these particular assignments will clearly involve multi-tasking, but that is the general rule in diplomatic assignments.”
“We have always enjoyed a close relationship with Israel’s ambassadors in Washington and at the United Nations. Ambassadors Dermer and Danon have served their country with distinction and honor,” Christians United for Israel founder and chairman John Hagee said.
“Likewise, we know Minister Erdan well — he, too, is a dedicated and passionate advocate for Israel. We look forward to working with him as he takes on his new and challenging roles.”
Zionist Organization of America national president Mort Klein told JNS that Erdan is “an inspired and brilliant choice.”
Klein said Erdan is “a very hard-working, smart, articulate Zionist who knows how to effectively present Israel’s case and defend Israel from all the propaganda lies against it.” He added that he “was a leader against the Israel-bashing BDS movement and understands all the issues in the Arab/Islamic war against Israel.”
As strategic affairs minister, Erdan carved out a high-profile role in combating the BDS movement. Most notably, Erdan’s ministry was behind a two-year campaign aimed at exposing connections between anti-Israel BDS groups and terrorist organizations.
Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) founder and president Sarah Stern said Dermer was “one of Israel’s most sagacious and skilled ambassadors in Israel’s history,” such as challenging the Obama administration over the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned Israeli neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria. The resolution passed as the United States did not exercise its automatic veto power and instead abstained.
Regarding Danon, she said he “has been a searing voice of reason and of the truth in the United Nations, who has had to defend Israel on an almost daily basis from unwarranted and viscous attacks, that no one would dare to wage on another country, especially in a similar situation.”
Nonetheless, she said, “What we have read and heard about Minister Erdan leads us to believe that he is every bit the man for the task.”
Reports have circulated for some time that Danon would be stepping down at U.N. ambassador. He was first appointed in 2015 for a three-year term and was extended multiple times.
Like Danon, Dermer has also been reported to be stepping down from his post as well. However, his tenure was also extended due to Israel’s political deadlock. Dermer has served as Israel’s envoy to the United States since 2013.
Erdan has served as a Likud Knesset member since first being elected in 2003; prior to that, he was an adviser to Netanyahu and former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The longtime Likud lawmaker has served in a variety of ministerial roles over the past decade-and-a-half.
According to Haaretz, Dermer will likely step down as ambassador only after the U.S. presidential election in November.
Erdan will continue to serve as a minister in the government until his official appointment as ambassador and take up the U.N. post once the new government approves his nomination.
Israel is set to swear-in its new government on Thursday.