Obama nominates advisor as next ambassador to Israel
Dan Shapiro, center, talks with Dennis Ross of the National Security Council outside the Oval Office
March 9th, 2011
07:02 PM ET

Obama nominates advisor as next ambassador to Israel

WASHINGTON (CNN) - With civil war and unrest unfolding across portions of the Middle East and North Africa, President Barack Obama is seeking to fill an important diplomatic post in the region by nominating Dan Shapiro to be the next U.S. ambassador to Israel.

The nomination of Shapiro, currently senior director for the Middle East and North Africa on the National Security Council, was announced Wednesday by the White House.

Shapiro was a key adviser on the Middle East to Obama's presidential campaign. He also played a big role in Obama's outreach to the U.S. Jewish community during the campaign.

The announcement comes at a point when negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians over the outlines of a future Palestinian state are frozen. The Obama administration has repeatedly criticized the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, a major sticking point in negotiations, but recently vetoed a resolution before the United Nations Security Council that would have labeled settlements as illegal under international law.

Prior to his work on the campaign, Shapiro was a vice president at a Washington-based marketing and communications firm, and held positions on the National Security staff in the Clinton administration, as well as in the offices of Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and Bill Nelson of Florida.

If confirmed by the Senate, Shapiro will succeed the current U.S. ambassador, James Cunningham.

Topics: President Obama • The News

soundoff (One Response)
  1. nursetom

    Back in the 1950’s, many of us found ourselves gawking at a new invention called television. There was one show that came on everyday at 4:00 P.M. Buffalo Bob was the master of ceremonies and his sidekick was a mute clown named Clarabelle who communicated with a honker horn. There was also the “peanut gallery” which was a set of bleachers occupied by a group of preschoolers cheering every time Clarabelle honked his horn. The star of the show, however, was a marionette named Howdy Doody. The way it worked was that Howdy Doody spoke to the television audience while Buffalo Bob lead the cheering section in the peanut gallery. Every time H.D. finished making a point, Buffalo Bob would say “Isn’t that right boys and girls of the peanut gallery?” Clarabelle would then honk his horn twice and the studio kids would shout “Yay!” Of course, we never found out who was pulling the strings. Let’s see; a speech making puppet with a cowboy and a clown leading a programmed cheering section; sounds a lot like modern-day politics.

    Accordingly, as I have watched the events unfold vis-à-vis the “war on terror”, and the “road map to peace”, I feel like I’m still watching the Howdy Doody Show. In Gaza, Hamas had taken control of the Palestinian Authority by popular vote. Then the U.S. government continued to push Israel to travel down “peace road” with the leaders of Hamas because they had become the elected officials of the “Palestinians”. The PLO has been gone for about five years and Hamas is still in power; American style democracy in action with Jimmy Carter still heralding his approval and Obama still promising to work harder toward bringing peace between the Jews and the Arabs in the Middle East.

    Wait a minute! Aren’t the Hamas terrorists the ones who perpetrated all of the suicide bombings in Israel and murdered thousands of Jews? Yes. Didn’t the Israeli military take out several successive leaders of Hamas with Helicopter attacks without protest from the puppeteers? Yes. Didn’t the prior Bush administration and the current Obama administration condemn Hamas for its acts of terror? Yes. And now the world community is still congratulating Hamas for its participation in the peaceful political process and condemning Israel for defending herself.

    I feel like I’m still going insane. But it must be alright, because Howdy Doody says that everything is as it should be, the buffalo man is prompting us for agreement and the dumb clown just gave us two blasts on his honker horn.

    March 9, 2011 at 11:21 pm |