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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hillary Clinton's remarks at Dan Shapiro's swearing-in ceremony

These are some of Hillary Clinton's remarks at the swearing-in ceremony on Friday for Dan Shapiro, the new US ambassador to Israel.
But it is no surprise that Dan would draw such a crowd. His talent, his insight, his hard work, his good humor have made him a favorite here in Washington. And as he has traveled across the world on behalf of our country, he’s become a favorite in many other places as well. He is known rightly as a trusted partner and an honest interlocutor, as they say in diplo-speak, and that’s why President Obama relied on him so heavily these past 2.5 years and why we are now sending Dan on this critical new mission.

The friendship between the United States and Israel runs deep. It is rooted in shared values that are at the core of our respective national identities. Democracy, opportunity, tolerance – these and other values are written into our DNA. And the bonds we have formed are enduring and unshakable. So for more than six decades, through Democratic and Republican administrations alike, the United States has remained committed to Israel’s security and success. And from his first days in office, President Obama has upheld and strengthened that commitment.

Under President Obama’s leadership, with Dan by his side, we continue to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge, we have increased security assistance, joint exercises and high-level consultations, and we have supplied new missile defense systems that are saving Israeli lives. Because we are convinced that Israel’s future depends upon achieving a comprehensive peace in the Middle East, we have consistently worked to support negotiations between the parties. And as President Obama said in May, while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear – a secure Israel and a viable Palestine.

Today, by sending one of his closest advisors to be our new ambassador, President Obama is once again demonstrating not only our national commitment, but his personal commitment to the strength of this relationship to Israel’s future, its security, and its success.


Back in Washington, Dan has become one of the most respected voices on Middle East affairs and a champion for the U.S.-Israel relationship. He spent years in the Senate, first with Senator Feinstein and then with Senator Bill Nelson. And you’d be surprised how much you can learn about Israel and the challenges it faces by spending quality time in Palm Beach and Boca Raton. (Laughter.) Dan emerged as a real leader and helped enact new sanctions on Syria and to designate Hezbollah’s satellite television operation as a foreign terrorist organization.

Since 2009, Dan has counseled the President and worked closely with me – and we’ve had some memorable times on the road together – as Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa on the National Security Staff. Like the President, I have come to rely on Dan’s good judgment and his tireless work ethic. No hour is too late for one more meeting or one last discussion. (Laughter.) I see some chuckles of recognition in the crowd. In fact, just give in early. (Laughter.) If Dan is calling, just take the call. You might as well.

And what he has done on being on the other end of those late night phone calls, video conferences, and urgent cables, is continue our strong commitment and also look for a good and just and secure way forward for Israel.
Read the whole thing. I wonder whether we'd be better off with an experienced diplomat who couldn't be dismissed as Obama's court Jew. I also note that the Obama administration continues to press the 'military cooperation' talking point (and not much else) as if it were something new.

But look at the bright side: At least Shapiro wasn't an Obama bundler.

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At 5:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much time will it take to confirm that Shapiro is Daniel Kurtzer II? 2 weeks on the job?

At 12:38 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Shy Guy, on the bright side, he might educate the State Department and Obama Administration about realities of life in Israel. It depends of course on what kind of Ambassador he'll be.

We'll see!


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