(photo credit: Courtesy of US embassy Israel)
US Ambassador Dan Shapiro reaffirmed America’s deep commitment to Israel’s
security and democracy on Tuesday in an address to the Israel, Britain and The
Speaking at the Leonardo Hotel in Ramat Gan,
Shapiro recalled a recent visit that he made to Beersheba following a round of
rocket fire from Gaza. It was a reminder of the fragile security
situation, he said, adding, “No other country in the world faces that kind of
onslaught on its citizens.”
As the father of three young daughters,
Shapiro said that he could understand the panic of residents in the South when
the sirens go off and parents are looking to protect their children.
President Barack Obama also understands that, said Shapiro, who organized
Obama’s 2008 visit to Israel when he was campaigning.
Obama went to
Sderot on that occasion, and saw the pile-up of fired missiles, visited families
and listened to their stories.
That visit led him to accelerate support
for the Iron Dome system, said Shapiro, noting that Iron Dome batteries have
intercepted 50 rockets from Gaza with an 80 percent success rate, which Shapiro
termed “an amazing achievement.”
He had never felt such pride he said, as
when he saw America’s early investment in the Iron Dome system “that literally
saves lives and gives the military time to decide how and when to respond to
Obama is now seeking additional funds from Congress for further
deployment of the Iron Dome System, said Shapiro, declaring, “The United States
will always support Israel’s right to defend itself.”
coordination between Israel and the US is at the highest level that it has ever
been, he added.