The White House on Wednesday officially announced that Dan Shapiro, one of
President Barack Obama’s advisers, will become the next US ambassador to
The 41-year-old Shapiro has regularly traveled to Israel and
worked closely with US Middle East envoy George Mitchell to try to forge an
Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
Dan Shapiro to be named US envoy to Israel
Shapiro first began working with Obama in
2007, when he coordinated Jewish outreach and advised his presidential campaign
on Middle East issues. He speaks fluent Hebrew and has been a major point man
for the US Jewish community in the White House, as well as for Israeli and
Both Jewish and Palestinian voices in America
praised Shapiro last month when it became clear that he was going to become
“Dan’s a great guy, a perfect choice,” said Steve Rabinowitz,
who worked with Shapiro in the Clinton White House and attends the same
Conservative synagogue as Shapiro does.
“He’s known the issues for many,
many years,” Rabinowitz said. “He cares deeply about it, sees all sides, and
really, I just don’t know a person in Washington or the region who doesn’t like
“I have tremendous respect for Dan. He’s knowledgeable and he’s
sensitive to the issues,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
added, however, that he “would be sorry to see Shapiro leaving the
administration, where he’s played a very important role.”
president of the American Task Force on Palestine, also welcomed Shapiro serving
as US envoy to Israel.
“Dan will make an excellent ambassador. He has a
grasp of the complexity of the game and knowledge of all the main players, and
is committed to a peaceful resolution to the conflict,” Asali said. “Dan will
make an excellent ambassador.”