Obama set to name new ambassador to Israel

This just in: sources here confirm a Politico report that Dan Shapiro, a top White House Middle East adviser, will be the new U.S. ambassador in Tel Aiv.

During the 2008 Barack Obama presidential campaign, Shapiro served as a liaison to the Jewish community. He also served in the Clinton administration National Security Council and on Capitol Hill

Shapiro has extensive contacts across the Israeli political spectrum and with Palestinian officials.

“He’s somewhat to the left, but he’s well liked at AIPAC,” said a veteran Jewish activist who has worked with Shapiro for years. “He’s comfortable having shwarma in Ramallah or reading Torah in shul.”

In her blog, Politico’s Laura Rozen writes that “Shapiro, who speaks fluent Hebrew, also has a good relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and wide contacts in Israel and the region, and has accompanied [special envoy George] Mitchell on countless shuttle diplomacy trips to the region.”

Shapiro, 49, will also be one of the youngest ambassadors in a key embassy.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.