As the Netanyahu speech controversy has unfolded I've wondered about and a number of readers have asked me whether there are any obvious historical parallels to Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador. The truth is that there are so many unique or at least very uncommon factors overlapping together that it's very hard to think of any other comparable case in recent history or perhaps ever. The Israel relationship is high stakes. It's already increasingly partisanized. The Ambassador was an American citizen himself until not too long ago. And he has long standing political ties to the party that is the president's opposition. There's quite a lot going on. But there's one case from history that at least offers some interesting parallels. The differences are illuminating as well. The year is 1793. And the man is "Citizen Genet", Edmond-Charles Genet, Minister Plenipotentiary of the French Republic to the United States of America.
In other words, Ambassador.
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