Obama’s envoy to Israel agrees with Trump’s Jerusalem stance

Former US Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, “strongly” agrees with the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but argues with the way it was done.

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Former US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro commented Tuesday that he was in favor of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, reported the Jerusalem Post. Shapiro is currently one of the speakers at the International Conference of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv.

“I strongly agree with the decision,” he said. “Treating Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is something we do functionally anyway, and obviously west Jerusalem is going to remain Israeli and Israel’s capital under any future circumstance.”

His disagreement with the Trump administration reportedly lies in the fact that the announcement was not made “in the broader context of the strategic objective that [the president] is trying to achieve,” meaning an overall peace plan. This led, claims Shapiro, to the Palestinians’ rage over the decision.

Shapiro served as emissary to the Jewish state for the Obama administration from July 2011-January 2017, and was involved in some of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations during 2013-2014. When those talks ended abruptly, Obama accused both sides of lacking the political will to make tough decisions, with the Israeli media focusing on the role of Obama’s special envoy Martin Indyk, who reportedly blamed the breakdown mostly on Israel.

Shapiro joined INSS in March 2017 as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow, participating in several of the institute’s research programs, including those on Israel-US relations, Israeli-Palestinian relations, the Arab World, and Israeli society and public ppinion. The INSS conference is examining the sources of Israel’s strengths and weaknesses as it approaches its 70th birthday, as well as examining where the speakers see the country heading in the next few decades.

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