Biden administration names Dan Shapiro, former U.S. envoy to Israel, to manage Abraham Accords


WASHINGTON ((JEWISH REVIEW)) — Daniel Shapiro, formerly the U.S. ambassador to Israel, will be the Biden administration’s point man in expanding and managing the Abraham Accords, the normalization agreements between Israel and four Arab countries.

Shapiro, the ambassador to Israel under the Obama administration, has been heading an Abraham Accords advancement effort at the Atlantic Council think tank.

“Dan will support U.S. efforts to advance a more peaceful and interconnected region, deepen and broaden the Abraham Accords, and build the Negev Forum,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday on Twitter.

The Trump administration brokered the Abraham Accords between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Sudan in 2020, and the Biden administration committed to their expansion at the Negev Summit last year. The normalization agreements and the effort to expand them remain one of the few areas of agreement between the Biden and Trump administrations.

They also are one of the dwindling areas of agreements between the Biden and Netanyahu governments. Biden opposes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s court reform proposals, and is unhappy with increased Israeli-Palestinian tensions and with Netanyahu’s plan to accelerate settlement building.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen welcomed the appointment. “I welcome the nomination of Ambassador Dan Shapiro as Senior Advisor for Regional Integration,” he said on Twitter. “We will work together to expand the circle of peace and normalization and bring prosperity and stability to the region.”

Netanyahu hopes to bring Saudi Arabia into the accords, and Blinken pressed the Saudis on the matter during a recent visit.

Shapiro had lived and studied in Israel before being named ambassador in 2011. He was well-liked in Jerusalem, even among right-wing ministers and lawmakers. His new position, senior adviser for regional integration, does not require Senate approval. There is a legislative effort underway in Congress to create an ambassador level position to advance the Abraham Accords.