Defending Israel's Assault on Gaza

If you wanted a role model for framing issues, you couldn't do better than Ron Dermer, the American-born and educated Israeli ambassador to the United States.

Dermer has his hands full these days as Israel, for all intents and purposes, has invaded Gaza to root out Hamas tunnels and rocket launchers, inflicting significant civilian casualties that have enraged the Muslim world and made Israel's allies cringe.

He defends Israel early and often and without an apologetic tone. He has framed the issue so that Israel, facing a persistent barrage of rocket fire from Gaza, has a right to defend itself. Period. 

He may have cut his teeth on this line of argument, according to a New York Times feature story, when — as an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania — Dermer was assigned the task of arguing Israel should be condemned for its treatment of Palestinians. Dermer was so passionate, he won the debate. When asked why he argued so fiercely for a point of view he strongly disagreed with, Dermer said, "I lied. Like they do."

If Dermer was merely a passionate blowhard, he wouldn't command the respect he receives. And he receives a lot. The Times noted Dermer has made more than 50 television, radio and print interviews since the Israelis and Hamas began fighting.