Israeli Ambassador to U.S. Says IDF “Should Be Given a Nobel Peace Prize”

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 22 2014 2:33 PM

Israeli Ambassador to U.S. Says IDF “Should Be Given a Nobel Peace Prize”

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Ron Dermer, Israeli patriot in Washington

Photo by Chris Kleponis/AFP/Getty Images

Monday's lengthy Christians United for Israel conference ended with a now-traditional celebration of the Jewish state, with singing and dancing to Hebrew songs alternating with stark speeches from Sen. Lindsey Graham and Pastor John Hagee. 

But it didn't get truly hellacious until Ambassador Ron Dermer, Israel's man in Washington, got up to speak. The ambassador devoted his remarks to the IDF, and to refuting the worst arguments made against Israel's operation in Gaza. After just a few minutes, a protester leapt up to call Dermer a "war criminal," waving a sign as security hustled to find him.

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"I’ll get to the so-called war criminals later," said Dermer, as the protester was removed. "Israel deserves more than the support of the international community. Israel deserves the admiration of the international community. No military in history has taken greater care than the IDF to protect innocents of the other side."

Dermer offered a little history, to prove his point. Remember when the Germans bombed the United Kingdom? "What was Britain's response? What was Churchill's response? Dresden. The bombing of German cities." Dermer did not mean to demean Churchill—"let's have some applause for Winston Churchill"—but to praise Israel.

"No one should accept criticism of Israel for showing restraint that has not been shown and would not be shown by any nation on Earth," he said. "And I will not accept criticsm of my country at a time when Israeli soldiers are dying so innocent Palestinians can live."

A din rose up—another protester had snuck into the ballroom, which contained as many as 4,800 evangelicals and Jews supporting Israel.

"There is a section for moral idiots in the back of the room," said Dermer. "Why don't you join your friends?"

Perhaps Dermer didn't realize that the media was sitting at the back of the room, but the line worked for him, and he got to keep talking as the protester was yanked.

"Israel did not have to send its soldiers into many places they are fighting today," said Dermer. "We are sending our soldiers into this hornet's next of Palestinian terror that is booby-trapped with mines and riddled with tunnels. Some are shamelessly accusing Israel of genocide, or putting us in the dock for war crimes. The truth is that the Israeli Defense Forces should be given a Nobel Peace Prize! A Nobel Prize for fighting with unimaginable restrait."

Incredibly, there was another protester in the room. This one didn't shout as loudly, but he gave Dermer plenty to work with.

"One day, when the enemies of Israel are defeated, and the moral idiots are silenced, people will look back and marvel at how the most threatened nation on Earth never lost its nerve and always upheld its values."

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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