U.S.-Israel relations in the Obama and Trump years
Drawing on his eight years serving in the Obama Administration, and his current vantage point from Israel on the Trump Administration, Ambassador Shapiro reviews highs and lows, busts some myths, and gives a behind-the-scenes account of Israeli-Palestinian talks, the fight over the Iran deal, and the many successes in U.S.-Israel relations. He analyzes prospects for future bilateral cooperation, regional peace and security initiatives, and some continued dissonance between these two close allies in the next four years.
The United States and Israel face a changing Middle East
How do two allies that are committed security partners and fellow democracies confront the challenges and seize the opportunities in a dynamic and unstable region? What is the strategy to deal with Iran's behavior and nuclear ambitions? Can the alignment of interests between Israel and Sunni Arab states be a foundation for a new regional security architecture and renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace prospects? How should we manage Russia's return to the Middle East? What threats does Israel face in the next phase of the Syrian conflict? Will Israel's next war be with Hamas, Hizballah, or another neighbor? Can the United States and Israel remain as close as they have always been if prospects for a two-state solution continue to fade?
Daniel Shapiro was named Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Tel Aviv University’s Institute of National Security Studies in March 2017, following a diverse career of over 20 years in senior foreign policy and national security positions in the United States government.
He was appointed by President Barack Obama to be United States Ambassador to Israel, a position he held from July 2011 until the end of the Obama Administration. He won praise from leaders of both countries for his deft management of the U.S.-Israel relationship during Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, the Iran nuclear agreement, regional instability, and periods of significant bilateral tension and disagreement. Among his major contributions were negotiating the $38 billion Memorandum of Understanding for U.S. military aid to Israel, unprecedented public outreach in fluent Hebrew to Israel’s diverse communities, and 40 percent growth in U.S.-Israel trade.
Shapiro previously served as Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa on the National Security Council, in which he served as a member of Special Envoy George Mitchell’s team, led U.S. diplomatic efforts in Syria and Lebanon, and advised President Obama through the early months of the upheavals in Arab states in 2011. He previously served in numerous senior advisory positions in the U.S. Congress, including with Senator Bill Nelson of Florida and Senator Dianne Feinstein of California.
His remarkable breadth of insights have been featured across the major media networks, and his writing has appeared in Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, Israeli Channel 2, and more.
He holds degrees from Brandeis University and Harvard University, and is living with his wife, Julie Fisher, and their three daughters, in Raanana, Israel.