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.
getty images
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.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 3)

“She is a new personality when it comes to the Middle East and she holds a position that has traditionally been considered problematic for Israel, and still she remarkably managed to turn the liabilities around,” said an administration official on Rice’s work relating to Israel.

With liabilities turned around, Rice enjoyed a warm embrace from the Jewish community. She received the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations National Service Award, met with leaders of the [American Jewish Committee](http://usun.state.gov/briefing/statements/182371.htm and even travelled to Florida to speak at a Boca Raton synagogue.

“She has been willing to take difficult positions on Israel time and again and when Jewish leaders see that it builds a relationship of trust,” Schonfeld said.

Not all in the community, however, were convinced. Rice’s strong words against Israel’s settlement activity, in which she made clear that the United States “rejects in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity” and views them as threatening the prospects for peace in the region, were seen by critics as unnecessarily harsh. Administration officials noted, in response, that Rice’s language reflected the policies of the Obama administration and of previous presidents as well.

Rice also came under fire for leading America’s rejoining the U.N. Human Rights Commission, a body boycotted by the Bush administration in part due to its strong anti-Israel spirit. Rice, backed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama, expressed her wish to reform the council and to refocus its work on human rights abuses around the world. Supporters point to the commission’s resolutions regarding the civil war in Syria as a sign of positive change. But critics state that much of the commission’s work is still focused on bashing Israel.

“This is a point of disagreement. I believe she is still wrong,” said Foxman, while adding that Rice’s motivation for joining the Commission was not to criticize Israel but rather to defend it from within.

Contact Nathan Guttman at guttman@forward.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Sigal Samuel's family amulet isn't just rumored to have magical powers. It's also a symbol of how Jewish and Indian rituals became intertwined over the centuries. http://jd.fo/a3BvD Only three days left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.