According to the State Department’s latest report, human rights problems in Israel have been concentrated around inequalities between Jewish-Israelis and their Arab counterparts, residents of the Occupied Territories faring much worse than Israeli citizens. The escalated conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza highlighted these inequalities and abuses.
In order to become Israel’s ambassador to the United States in May 2009, U.S.-born scholar Michael B. Oren had to relinquish his American citizenship, because the Jewish state does not allow dual citizens to represent it overseas.
U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel B. Shapiro is a long-time foreign policy professional with extensive experience dealing with issues pertaining to the Middle East. As an observant and active member of the Jewish community, Shapiro’s role has been to reassure American Jews that Obama will be a friend to their interests, including those related to Israel. He was confirmed by the Senate on May 26, 2011, sworn in on July 8, and arrived in Israel on July 21.