Former US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said that critics of US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Shapiro, who served under former President Barack Obama, told CNN's Jake Tapper that he didn't think Trump's decision was "that big of a deal."

He said that the announcement was neither a huge step forward or a step backwards. "There's a lot of heavy breathing about it, but it's neither the end of all efforts to achieve all Middle East peace, nor is it the second coming of Harry Truman recognizing Israel when it was established in 1948. Essentially, the president did recognize a reality."

Shapiro noted that during his seven years as ambassador to Israel, he would often drive from Tel Aviv, where the US embassy is currently located, to meet with Israeli leaders in Jerusalem.

He criticized the timing of the announcement and said that the president should have taken Arab opinion into greater account.