Israel bids farewell to outgoing US ambassador

Israeli leaders bid farewell to outgoing US Ambassador Dan Shapiro.

Israel’s leadership convened to bid farewell to US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, who will end his term when President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in.

President Reuven Rivlin met Shapiro on Tuesday at his residence in Jerusalem.

Rivlin thanked Shapiro for his work, saying that while “it is a farewell party, nevertheless we know we will meet you many times; as one who will live with us in Israel for a few months, and of course afterwards as one who will come to Israel from time to time.”

Rivlin asked Shapiro to convey his appreciation to President Barack Obama.

“Although from time to time we have had some differences of opinion, friends will take care of each other, and sometimes criticize each other, but we have done that as friends, and the people of Israel appreciate this very much. We know that for eight years the President helped Israel carry the burden of security, which we have to carry all the time,” said Rivlin.

Rivlin also passed a letter to Obama through Shapiro.

“Mr. President, as you come to the end of your second term in office as President of the United States of America, I would like to send you my greetings”. He thanked Obama for his “continuing concern over the last eight years, for Israel’s safety and our ability to carry the burden of security. You ensured that we could always feel confident that our needs in this area were a priority for your administration.”

“I know that both Israel and the United States will continue to be faithful to those shared values which underpin our two wonderful democracies. Allow me to wish you continuing success and personal satisfaction in all your future endeavors,” Rivlin concluded.

Rivlin also thanked Shapiro for his efforts to ensure the signing of the historic security MOU between Israel and the US.

Shapiro expressed his “deep gratitude” to Rivlin for “your leadership, for your friendship, for the good advice and support you have given me personally, and you have given to our efforts led by President Obama and our whole administration, to work with the Israeli government and make this relationship as strong as it can possibly be.”

‘An anchor and an island of stability’

Likewise on Tuesday, the Knesset’s Lobby for US-Israel Relations bid farewell to Shapiro.

During the meeting, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said to Shapiro that ”in relations between countries, and in politics, it is never black or white, and there were better times and times that were not as good. We can present an excellent picture of assistance and aircraft and military aid, and we can also talk about less successful meetings. But many of us here, regardless of which side they are from, felt that you were an anchor and an island of stability.”

Opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog told Shapiro that, ”you are leaving us wanting more. There was something about your behavior which permeated the hearts, crossed groups within Israeli society and reached deep into the unique Israeli narrative.”

Lobby Co-Chairperson MK Nachman Shai said,  ”it is not only your fluent Hebrew, it is also your personal charm and ability to manage these relations, in times of crisis and [in times of calm]. I know this is one of the most complex and challenging positions in the American Foreign Service. There is not one moment of quiet or an iota of boredom. I’m waiting for the book.”

Lobby Co-Chairperson MK Avraham Neguise told Shapiro, ”we witnessed the quality of your leadership as ambassador. You always stood by Israel`s side while we were attacked by terror. The nation of Israel thanks you.”

By: World Israel News Staff