December 17, 2011
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice denounced the treatment Israel receives in the United Nations on Thursday, adding that American support of Israel’s security was an “essential truth.”
Speaking at the annual reception of the Conference of Presidents Fund in New York, Rice said that the treatment Israel receives at the UN was “obsessive, ugly, bad for the United Nations and bad for peace.”
The ambassador stressed that the Obama administration was commitment to oppose all efforts to “chip away at Israel’s legitimacy,” adding that U.S. commitment to Israel’s peace and security was an “essential truth that will never change.”
The American official said U.S. President Barak Obama “has been clear all along that our special relationship with Israel is deeply rooted in our common interests and our common values,” adding that these common interests and values were the reason the U.S. has increased its financing of Israel’s military capabilities to record levels.
Other speakers at the Conference of Presidents event were Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor and Consul General of Israel in New York Ido Aharoni.
At the event, Rice received a National Service Award from on behalf of the Conference of Presidents Fund for her service at the UN, particularly her opposition to the Durban III conference as well as her opposition to a unilateral recognition of Palestinian statehood.
While the event seemed to imply that the Obama administration had been supportive of Israel, a full page ad by the Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI), published in such leading newspapers such as the New York Times, the Miami Herald, and Variety, asked: “Why does the Obama administration treat Israel like a punching bag?”
Speaking of the ad, the ECI’s chair Bill Kristol said that “the Obama administration has been using Israel as a punching bag. The pro-Israel wing of the pro-Israel community is punching back.”
Another story causing a storm amid the U.S. Jewish voting public was stirred by the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who in his column earlier this week titled “Newt, Mitt, Bibi and Vladimir” attacked Gingrich for calling the Palestinians “invented people,” accusing him of pandering to Israel.
However it was Friedman’s attack against Netanyahu that garnered the attention, as the veteran columnist wrote: “I sure hope that Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, understands that the standing ovation he got in Congress this year was not for his politics.”
An Israeli official told “Haaretz” that “Friedman has crossed a line that true friends of Israel should never allow themselves to cross and inadvertently encouraged anti-Semitism.”