Why did Ron Dermer decide to leave PM Netanyahu’s office?

Maariv daily paper reported last week that Ron Dermer, Netanyahu’s American aid, is leaving the Prime Minister’s Office. The story cited family reasons – a standard in such cases – and Netanyahu has refused to comment on the issue to follow-up pieces in the Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel.

Personal changes between governments are not that unique, but Dermer’s case is special. He was the neocon ambassador in Netanyahu’s office (or vice versa). The Israeli media has put some of the blame for Netanyahu’s support in Mitt Romney – now widely considered a diplomatic fiasco – on Dermer (in an interview to Yedioth Ahronoth yesterday, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Danny Ayalon said that Israel should have made a greater effort to make it clear that it is not taking sides in the elections). The story at the time was that Dermer, like many in the American right, was convinced that President Obama is heading for a loss. Some reports claimed that both him and Netanyahu were shocked on American elections night. They weren’t the only ones.

The inevitable thought: was Dermer thrown under the bus, in a desperate effort to rebuild the relationship with the White House? In any case, I don’t think Netanyahu will dare appoint Dremer as the next ambassador to Washington, as some reports suggested. He is clearly yesterday’s man.