Dan Shapiro GA 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy Dan Shapiro on Facebook)
Violence is completely unacceptable regardless of the outcome of the current
round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, US Ambassador Dan Shapiro said
Shapiro’s comments at the Jewish Federations of North America
General Assembly came five days after US Secretary of State John Kerry raised
eyebrows in a television interview by warning of a third intifada if the talks
Kerry said in the interview last Thursday that the
alternative to “getting back to the talks is the potential of chaos,” and then
asked, “I mean, does Israel want a third intifada?” Shapiro, asked about these
comments at a session moderated by Jerusalem Post
editor- in-chief Steve Linde,
said “there is never any suggestion or countenance of legitimizing the use of
Kerry’s message to both sides of the conflict, Shapiro said,
is that as difficult as the conflict is and has been, it is not going to get
easier over time as the populations become more intertwined, and there will be
greater disillusionment on both sides with the idea of two states.
sides have something to lose if these negotiations don’t go forward,” Shapiro
said. “No, we are not planning for a failure of the negotiations; we are
obviously trying to ensure the success of the negotiations. It goes without
saying that violence is completely unacceptable – before, during or after
negotiations – regardless of the success or failure of the
negotiations. We have maintained that always.”
The ambassador said
that not only was violence unacceptable in trying to push forward a political
goal, but that “Israel has the right to defend itself when such violence
Asked whether Kerry’s comments, coupled with the current dust-up
over Iran, has not eroded the goodwill among the Israeli public that US
President Barack Obama won when he visited in March, Shapiro said that “the
truth is that the United States and Israel have as close a relationship as any
two countries on earth.
“That is a good thing,” he said. “That is the way
it should be; that is the way it will be – it will remain that way.”
the same time, Shapiro added, that did not mean that the countries would agree
on every issue, and that there would not be disagreements.
Though the US
and Israel have largely overlapping interests, these interests – because of
different size and location – are not identical, he said.
that while both on the Iranian and Palestinian issues, “along the way we will
have difficult conversations,” those conversations will never come close to
“shaking the foundations of this relationship.”