Photo Credit: Lori Lowenthal Marcus
U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, speaking at Hadassah Academic College in Jerusalem, Nov. 18, 2014.

The Twittersphere was afire Saturday night with outrage tweeted in heaps over U.S. President Donald Trump’s actions, specifically over Friday’s executive order temporarily banning refugees, and remarks about “the wall.”

Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro was less than diplomatic in his response to the president’s latest executive order.


Nor did he mince his words on the legality of the president’s actions.

2/ Ending all admission of refugees? A religious test for those admitted to the country? Legal immigrants denied reentry? Ugly all around.”

What Shapiro ignored — or perhaps didn’t notice — or preferred not to mention (?) were the exceptions to the ban, which included those who are “traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-4 visas.” The ban is temporary and the president pointed out as he signed the executive order, “We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas.” Shapiro ignored that.

3/ Likely illegal as well and hopefully to be overturned in court ASAP. Reinforced for my kids today our values by donating to @HIASrefugees”

But Shapiro wasn’t finished. He then started in on Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in response to his comment that Israel had built a wall along the southern border and it stopped infiltration.

Former Ambassador Shapiro had plenty to say in response to that.

1/PM@netanyahu’s top aide’s told me a key goal in Trump’s era was keeping bipartisan support for Israel. Now this?…

He continued with a full commentary, all published via tweets, one after the other. (Did you know that you could do that?)

2/ Israel’s challenges with Sinai border not similar to US border,” he continued to tweet. “Their solution (a fence, not a wall) works for them, would not work for us.”

3/Hard to explain this intervention on a hotly debated issue in domestic US politics Unless… “

4/ … this endorsement is Trump’s demand of Netanyahu for something Netanyahu wants, the quid pro quo. But for what?

5/ Canceling the Iran deal? Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem? Supporting building in settlement blocs?

6/ To me, it looks like Trump is already squeezing Netanyahu hard. “The Art of the Deal.” xx

Israel’s Foreign Ministry — which is also headed by Netanyahu — issued a statement shortly after with a clarification that somehow Shapiro must have missed, noting that the prime minister’s comment was a reference to Israel’s specific experience, not an expert position on the issue of America’s border with Mexico.

“@Israeli PM referred to our specific security experience which we are willing to share.We do not express a position on US- Mexico relations.”

New York media reported an executive order signed Friday by the new president suspends entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days. It also bans the entry of travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – for 90 days, and indefinitely halts admission of refugees from Syria.

According to a spokesperson from the Department of Homeland Security, the ban was extended to those who already hold green cards, which legally allow them residency status in the United States.

President Trump further said a priority would be placed on processing Christian refugees from Syria. According to a report by the Pew Research Center quoted by CNN, fewer than one percent of nearly 12,600 Syrians granted refugee status last year were Christian, although 10 percent of the population in Syria is Christian.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.