TEL AVIV (JTA) – Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, was reprimanded by an Israeli government commission for promoting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election campaign in a television interview.
In a December interview with American Fusion Television, a network aimed at Hispanic-Americans, Dermer was asked about the Israeli elections in March. In response Dermer, a close Netanyahu ally, said that when Israelis “look at all the people that stand for the leadership of the country, that they will have confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Netanyahu,” according to Haaretz.
Dermer, as a state employee, is forbidden from “promoting the interest of any particular party or candidate,” according to rules publicized earlier in December by Israel’s Civil Service Commission.
Issawi Freij, a lawmaker from the left-wing Meretz party, in a complaint to the commission demanded disciplinary action.
After discussing the incident with Dermer, the commission called it a “one-time mistake,” noted that the interview was not directed at an Israeli audience, and placed a disciplinary note in Dermer’s personnel file, according to Haaretz.