(JTA) -- The U.S. Senate voted Thursday to confirm Daniel Shapiro as America’s next ambassador to Israel.
Shapiro was nominated to the post in March by President Obama. At the time he was serving as senior director for the Middle East and North Africa at the National Security Council. He had coordinated Jewish outreach for the Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
The president’s nomination of Shapiro was praised by a wide range of Jewish groups.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The White House reportedly is set to name Steve Simon, the co-author of a comprehensive outline for a Palestinian state, as a top Middle East official.
The Obama administration will tap Simon, a former top National Security Council official in the Clinton administration, to head the NSC's Middle East desk, according to Laura Rozen of The Envoy foreign policy blog on Yahoo.com. Simon would succeed Daniel Shapiro, who by default has become the top administration point man for pro-Israel groups and Israeli officials.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Two weeks before their launch, the promised renewal of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks has already engendered a first: a joint statement of welcome by mainstream U.S. Jewish and Palestinian groups.