Ambassador Shapiro:
'There were ups & downs. US and Israel are best friends'

The outgoing United States ambassador to Israel speaks to Arutz Sheva as he summarizes five years in office.

Yoni Kempinski,

Amb. Dan Shapiro says goodbye
Amb. Dan Shapiro says goodbye
Yoni Kempinski

Arutz Sheva spoke on Tuesday with Dan Shapiro, the outgoing United States ambassador to Israel, who will step down on Friday when President-elect Donald Trump takes office but will stay in Israel for a few more months as his children finish their school year.

The conversation came on the sidelines of a farewell event that Shapiro held at the Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv. In his remarks, Shapiro spoke with great excitement about his time as ambassador.

Shapiro told Arutz Sheva that the experience was “amazing” and “a job I loved and my family loved”.

“There were some ups and downs. No relationship is perfect, even relationships between best friends, and we are. The United States and Israel are about as good friends as you can have between two countries,” he admitted.

Despite the disagreements, Shapiro said he is not focusing on that, but rather on his own personal experiences.

“We’ve enjoyed every moment. We’ve felt warmly embraced by the Israeli people, we’ve tried to give that back in equal measure, and I believe we’ve accomplished amazing things in strengthening the relationship in security, technology, intelligence, and economic relations. And that happened all during the same period in which we had disagreements. So I look back with great fondness and a sense of satisfaction.”

Asked if he has any recommendations for the next ambassador, David Friedman, Shapiro replied, “I hope he will enjoy the job as much as I did and I hope he will get to know the Israeli people, all of them all over the country the way we did, but every ambassador and every administration has to decide how they want to conduct their diplomacy and do their job, so I will respect that and wish him well.”

Speaking to the crowd at the Rabin Center, Shapiro had said, “When other observers and maybe former ambassadors write about this period, I think the correct record will show that in every respect the U.S.-Israel relationship grew stronger.”

He added that the embassy in Israel tries very hard “to connect with every part of Israeli society: Jewish, Arab, Muslim, Christian, Druze, Bedouin, Orthodox, haredi, national religious, secular – it doesn’t matter who the Israeli citizen is. We want to know them, we want them to know us, we want them to connect to the values that bind our two countries. That has dramatically increased during the five-and-a-half years we’ve been privileged to do this job.”

Shapiro stressed that the “two-state solution” to solve the Israel-Palestinian Authority (PA) conflict is a “common commitment and a common bond we share.”




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