Susan Rice Wins Over Israel Supporters

Jewish Groups Would Welcome Appointment at State Dept.

Standing Up: U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice has won over supporters of Israel with her firm support at the world body.
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Standing Up: U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice has won over supporters of Israel with her firm support at the world body.

By Nathan Guttman

Published November 28, 2012, issue of December 07, 2012.
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The attack was, intelligence operatives now believe, actually carried out by a terror group loosely affiliated with Al Qaeda. Some Republicans suspect that Rice had purposely ignored this fact in order to help President Obama’s re-election campaign. Rice and Obama have since said that the ambassador’s remarks were based on the best information she had at the time. A November 27 effort by Rice to convince Republican lawmakers that her statements were based on the best intelligence she had at the time, failed to resolve the political dispute.

A foreign policy scholar who specialized in international peacekeeping and genocide prevention, Rice served as Obama’s foreign policy adviser during the 2008 presidential campaign. She was appointed ambassador to the United Nations, a cabinet-level post, following his election.

Rice, 48, was initially met with concern among supporters of Israel who feared that the new United Nations envoy would favor international involvement in the Israeli – Palestinian conflict.

But as America’s top representative to the body that came to symbolize the anti-Israel sentiment of the international community, Rice had plenty of opportunities to prove her support to Israel by working to defeat resolutions and measures aimed at censuring and denouncing Israel, or as she herself put it, battling “the anti-Israel crap.”

Rice used her first veto to block a Security Council resolution criticizing Israel’s settlement policy. She fought against resolutions based on the Goldstone Report, which criticized Israel’s actions during the Gaza conflict, and she spurred the U.S. to withdraw from the Durban review conference in 2009.

The 2011 attempt by the Palestinian Authority to win United Nations recognition as an independent state, galvanized Rice’s relations with pro-Israel activists and transformed her into one of the Obama administration’s most effective communicators to the Jewish community. Rice, who kept in close contact with the Israeli delegation to the United Nations and with Jewish organizations that were deeply concerned over the Palestinian move, worked with European allies to block the Palestinian attempt. The coalition she assembled eventually succeeded in turning back the bid.


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