Analysis: Ambassador Daniel Shapiro's Words at the Herzliya Conference 2016

America is today one of Israel's closest friends. It's undeniable. This week, we are going to take a look at some of Daniel Shapiro's (the US Ambassador to Israel) words delivered at the 2016 Herzliya Conference, where he stated that the solution to counter the BDS Movement is the establishment of a Palestinian State – yes, you read it well.

Amb. Daniel Shapiro represents the United States of America in Israel, therefore he speaks on behalf of the State Department President Obama, not necessarily on behalf of the American people (who, according to the Gallup, widely support the State of Israel). So, let's now look at the verbal delicatessens that Ambassador Shapiro shared in the Conference:

Delicatessen #1

“So it is certainly in Israel’s and the United States’ interest to find the way back to direct negotiations with the Palestinians, and until then, to take steps to keep the two state solution viable for the future and avoid steps, such as settlement expansion, that seem to move the parties further away from, rather than closer toward, a two-state solution.” - Daniel Shapiro

First, this statement shows that Ambassadors indeed speaks on behalf of the State Department and not exactly of the US President. It has been a State Dept's stubborn, ambiguous and outdated policy to repeat the “settlement” mantra, regardless of who sits in the White House, knowing fully well that Israel has legal rights over Judea and Samaria as per the International Law. Thus, speaking of “settlement expansion” is nothing but hogwash.

Second, now that Arabs want to negotiate directly with Israel, based on the Arab Peace Initiative, the United States insist on “direct negotiations with the Palestinians” as if they didn't know that the approach has failed, much because the Palestinians do not want to negotiate and they do not want a country – their goal is a war of attrition against the Jewish State. What is really upsetting the American Diplomatic Corps is the rapprochement between Israel and the Arab States which works contrary to their policy of keeping the Middle East divided, and in constant wars, in order to hamper the Power of their Unity.

Third, there is already a de facto two-state solution (Israel and Palestine [in Gaza]); so why keep up the charade? If Arab Nations are showing signs of willingness to recognise this simple truth, why is the West so bent on keeping the farce? What are we going to find out if we dig long enough?

Delicatessen #2

“It has always been the case that one of our most effective tools to defeat boycotts and delegitimization is the presentation of a political process, negotiations, or some political horizon that gives hope for a two states for two peoples resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” - idem

First, in diplomacy there's no “one size fits all” measures as proved by the US decision to not defeat  “boycotts and delegitimization” of Hitler's Nazi Olympics, in 1936; but to support the boycott of South Africa during the Apartheid era, even though both pro- and anti-Apartheid camps were against it.

Second, the presentation of political processes, negotiations or “some political horizon” (i.e. dragging issues) are not a guarantee to a positive outcome. Moreover, since 1947, Israel has done nothing but being involved in political processes, negotiations and offering political horizons (culminating with the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, in 2005) and what did they all yield? Terror, terror and more terror. The US know this because they have supported such terror (either directly [if we interpret State Secretary Kissinger's offer to Iraq, in 1975] or indirectly [through their ambiguous policies and public statements]).

Third, the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict started in 1964 (upon the creation of the so-called Palestinian identity) as an off-shoot of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. It would be interesting to have the Americans justifying their immutable demand for a Palestinian state based on the entirety of the pre-1967 ceasefire lines; because even if the US wanted to negotiate based on the 1949 armistice lines (not borders), it would be impossible to get anywhere since the Palestinians back then were the Jews, but even if America wanted Israel to negotiate based on the 1947 partition plan it would still be impossible for the same previous reason and because the Arabs rejected the territory allotted to them. Therefore, the US should review its mantra, its demands, and reset the whole issue – especially, when the Arab side is slowly becoming willing to do it.

Delicatessen #3

“Conflating Israel and ‘Israeli-controlled territories’ [would] interfere with my constitutional authority to conduct diplomacy.” - Quoting President Obama

With all due respect, President Obama, this is not so. If you'd have the courage to conflate “Israel and Israeli-controlled territories” you would finally make history, sir. The United States would make history. But for that it needs to work in the right direction: say the right words – they'd be more effective than a military campaign right now – recognise Jerusalem as the Capital of the Jewish State (as per the Jerusalem Embassy Act) and stop repeating counter-productive mantras. Following this counsel would deal a blow on several fronts: Hamas and the PLO (that not only destabilise College campuses around the world with their groups and sub-groups, but mainly assist global Jihad through their worldwide network), ISIS/AQ, other Jihadist groups, and Iranian-sponsored terror.

If America really wants to counter Global Jihad, then it needs to get its act together and remove one of their pillars: show them you mean business.

Mr President, you should take the time to study what the International Law truly says about Israel and the territories: legally speaking, they were re-conquered by Israel and await annexation to legalise the Israeli status over Judea and Samaria. If you conduct your diplomacy based on the law, not based on politicised analyses of the law, you will gain much more; now: will be harder? Definitely, but diplomacy is a hard game anyway, plus harder doesn't mean impossible.

America is conducting itself like those professional humanitarians: they want peace but sponsor wars and terrorists, they want the end of hunger but nourish situations conducive to hunger, they want the end of poverty but cause misery, they want the end of racism but foster and practise it, they want justice but practise injustice – all for the photo-ops. America is a friend but wants to act as a treacherous mate...when will it stop?

(Image: View of Western Wall and Temple Mount - Yacov Gabay) 

[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society]


  1. Max, Max, Max, America doesn't have the guts to change anything. Look at Obama, he promised change we can believe in, where is it? Nowhere! Look, what we're about to see is the state department vamp up their MO regarding Israel so the question is, what is Israel going to do?

    1. Olá, Anonymous!
      Very good question: yes, what is Israel going to do?


    2. Hi Anon :D!

      Indeed, President Obama has been a disappointment regarding this issue. Israel will do whatever it must do, what it should have done a long time ago.

      Anon, thank you so much for your comment :D.


  2. Excellent post!!! I agree that America is disoriented: how are we going to do now that Arabs and Jews are coming to an understanding? How are we going to do with our double-containment policy? How are we going to do with our balance of power policy? How are we going to do when they prove Kissinger/Nixon was wrong? I get them!
    Obama lost a perfect opportunity to make history, such a shame! But now it's too late and he's messing up big time!

    1. Hi Cêcê :D!

      Thank you *bowing*. Yes, the rapprochement must be driving them crazy.
      Pres. Obama got lost somewhere along the way. It is a shame, indeed. Nevertheless, I don't agree that it is too late; I still think he can do the right thing before he leaves but if he doesn't then history will not be kind to him. And now THAT will be truly a shame.

      Celeste, thank you so much for your comment :D. You were missed.


  3. America, like many countries and political bodies, is adverse to change. She will take a lot of time before realising she must change her ME policies.

    1. Hi Cristina :D!


      Cheers for your comment :D.


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