Only one week after the US ambassador to Israel finished his time here, Dan Shapiro criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's tweets.
Earlier in the day, Netanyahu expressed his support for US President Donald Trump's intention to build a wall along the US-Mexican border. The former ambassador to Israel responded, "Their solution (a fence, not a wall) works for them, would not work for us."
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) is worried of a potential crisis in Israeli-Mexican relations following Netanyahu's tweet and published a clarification.
When Shabbat ended, the prime minister tweeted, "President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel's southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea." He ended the tweet with Israel and American flag emojis. Netanyahu's tweet was based on the government's decision to build a fence along the border with Egypt. Trump later retweeted Netanyahu's tweet.
Shapiro, who has remained in Israel, is no longer bound by diplomatic protocol. He attacked Netanyahu's position on the controversial American wall proposal via Twitter.
"Israel’s challenges with Sinai border not similar to US border," he wrote. "Hard to explain this intervention on a hotly debated issue in domestic US politics. Unless this endorsement is Trump’s demand of Netanyahu for something Netanyahu wants, the quid pro quo. But for what? Canceling the Iran deal? Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem? Supporting building in settlement blocs? To me, it looks like Trump is already squeezing Netanyahu hard. 'The Art of the Deal.'"
A spokesman for the MFA, Emmanuel Nahshon, also took to Twitter, though his post seemed to seek to put off any potential crisis with Mexico. He wrote that Netanyahu "referred to our specific security experience which we are willing to share. We do not express a position on US- Mexico relations."