Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Chair Mark Levenson, Esq. released the following statement:
ZOA criticizes projected-president-elect Joe Biden for appointing yet another hostile-to-Israel official, Susan Rice, to allegedly lead the White House Domestic Policy Council for which she has no background or experience. Rice served as Obama’s U.S. Ambassador to the UN and National Security Adviser. Although Rice’s new position ostensibly concerns domestic policy, Rice will have the ear of the president in this top position, thus giving her entrée to adversely affect foreign policy on Israel, Iran, etc.
Moreover, Rice’s education and experience is all in the foreign policy arena. She has no notable domestic policy experience. ZOA thus wonders if Biden is placing Rice close to him in the White House for her foreign policy advice, and giving her a domestic policy title, which needs no confirmation, to avoid the outrage and inability to gain confirmation if Rice – who has a history of foreign policy fiascos and ugly hostility to Israel – were openly appointed to a foreign policy post that needs Senate confirmation.
Rice would have difficulty obtaining Senate confirmation because she misled the American public by falsely claiming that the Benghazi terror attack was a spontaneous reaction to a little-known video. The Benghazi scandal caused Rice to withdraw her name from consideration for the top State Department post during the Obama administration.
Rice’s deeply concerning policy positions and anti-Israel bias include: promoting the disastrous Iran deal; her exclusionary, combative, hostile approach to Israel’s legitimate concerns about Iran; threatening Israel’s potential exercise of Israel’s sovereign rights; promoting sending U.S. tax dollars to corrupt Hamas-abettor UNRWA; promoting U.S. membership and involvement in the Israel-bashing UN Human Rights Council; Rice’s involvement in passing extreme anti-Israel UN resolution 2334; falsely attacking the legitimacy of Israeli “settlements”; listening to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s UN speech bashing the U.S. and Israel, but failing to attend Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s UN speech; and suggesting naming Israel-haters James Baker and Jimmy Carter as negotiators between the Israelis and Palestinians.
In addition, Joel Pollak recently documented that Rice’s “records of failure, dishonesty, and conniving” also include: opposing Sudan’s proposal to hand over Osama bin Laden (also documented here); opposing U.S. intervention in the Rwandan genocide, followed by trying to cover up then-President Clinton’s inaction; defending the Clinton administration’s initial refusal to provide cheaper HIV/AIDS drugs to Africa; lying about Obama’s 2007 campaign promise to meet enemy leaders “without preconditions”; and helping unmask Trump aides and then lying about it.
Rice’s deeply troubling record includes the following:
- Rice’s Involvement in Outrageous Anti-Israel UNSC Res. 2334:In December 2016, while serving as national security adviser during former President Obama’s lame duck period, Rice instructed then-Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power to not veto, and to thereby enable the adoption of extreme anti-Israel, antisemitic UN Security Council Resolution 2334.
The UN Security Council has no authority to make or interpret international law. Nonetheless, in order to smear the Jewish state and promote anti-Israel boycotts and actions, UNSC Res. 2334 falsely and outrageously claimed that Judaism’s holiest sites, including the Temple Mount, Western Wall, Jerusalem’s Old City including the Jewish Quarter, the Mount of Olives and its 2,500-year-old Jewish cemetery, as well as Hadassah Hospital, Hebrew University, and the historic Jewish heartlands of Judea and Samaria, are all “occupied Arab land.” UNSC Res. 2334 further promoted green-line BDS, and falsely claimed that Jewish homes in the above-listed historic Jewish areas “have no legal validity, and constitute a flagrant violation of international law.” The resolution was thus a blatant attempt to turn 700,000 innocent, devoted Jews living in the historic Jewish homeland into criminals.
Bipartisan members of Congress strongly condemned UNSC Res. 2334. For instance, Senator Tom Cotton noted, among other things: “This cowardly, disgraceful action cements President Obama’s richly deserved legacy as the most anti-Israel president in American history. This resolution hurts the prospects for a secure and just peace by targeting Israel for building homes in Jerusalem, its own capital, while not specifically addressing Palestinian incitement of and financial support for terrorism. . . .” The House of Representatives also overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan resolution (H.Res. 11) strongly condemning UNSC Res. 2334.
- Rice’s Threat Against Israel Asserting Her Lawful Rights:During an online session for the far-left wing “Israel Policy Forum” in June (2020), Rice warned Israel against asserting Israel’s lawful sovereign rights over Judea/Samaria – historic Jewish lands guaranteed to the Jewish nation under binding international law. (See “13 Reasons ZOA Strongly Supports Israel Restoring Her Rightful Sovereignty Over Judea-Samaria-Jordan Valley Now.”) Rice threatened that Israeli sovereignty “would make this traditionally bipartisan strong support for Israel that much harder to sustain.”
- Rice Promotes Sending U.S. Taxpayer Funds to Corrupt, Hamas-Abettor UNRWA:In 2018, Rice signed a letter calling for the U.S. to restart sending hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to the bloated, corrupt antisemitic Israelophobic United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). As again demonstrated by a recent U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, UNRWA’s schools and summer camps teach Palestinian Arabs to hate Jews and wage war against Israel. A UN report confirmed that Hamas stores weapons in UNRWA schools, and fires weapons at Israel from UNRWA schools.
- Rice Kept Israel in the Dark Re: U.S. Dealings with Iran, and Then Viciously Disparaged Netanyahu for Objecting to Obama Easing Sanctions on Iran: Fmr. Ambassador Dennis Ross, who was responsible for Iran issue under Obama, recountedthat in early November 2013, “Israel’s Iran team was briefed on the status of the [Iran] talks, but National Security Adviser Susan Rice had not authorized the Israelis to be briefed on the actual state of play in the negotiations.” Israel was thus shocked to learn a week later that the U.S. was on the brink of entering the JPOA interim Iran deal, which significantly eased sanctions on Iran, thereby removing the leverage needed to obtain a good deal. Rice made no effort to call Israel or to ameliorate the situation. The U.S. entered into the JPOA soon afterwards (on Nov. 24, 2013). When Netanyahu then expressed well-founded concerns about the JPOA, Rice called Netanyahu’s criticism “outrageous” and claimed that Israel’s prime minister did everything but “use ‘the N-word’ in describing the president.” Dennis Ross wrote that Rice’s statement “reflect[ed] her generally more combative mind-set” and “it didn’t have to play out that way.”
- Rice Continually Promotes the Catastrophic Iran Deal:In 2015, Rice promoted the catastrophic Iran deal to the American public, falsely calling the Iran deal the “most comprehensive and effective” nuclear plan ever.
Rice has continued to promote the deal after leaving office, in multiple outlets. For instance, in a 2018 New York Times op-ed, Rice falsely wrote that “Iran has fully complied with its obligations” when in fact Iran violated the deal from the outset, including by exceeding various deal restrictions. Rice further absurdly claimed that the extremely limited and close-to-useless inspections were “the most intrusive international inspection and monitoring regime in history.” In fact, inspectors were required to give 4 weeks’ notice to inspect undeclared facilities, and were forbidden from stepping foot anyplace that Iran deemed to be a military facility – the very facilities where Iran is most likely to work on nuclear weaponization. Rice then absurdly called President Trump’s appropriate decision to exit the deal “foolish” and “reckless.” In fact, it would be foolish and reckless to give up the leverage on Iran stemming from the sanctions President Trump imposed.
Rice’s Iran record is thus remarkably similar to Biden’s plan to give up our leverage by first re-entering the Iran deal and lifting sanctions, and only then negotiating, while excluding Israel from the negotiations. We are concerned that Rice will use her new White House position, with its proximity to the president, to boost Biden’s misbegotten, dangerous Iran plans and other anti-Israel policies.
Rice Falsely Attacked Israeli Settlers, etc.: In a December 4, 2013 speech entitled: “Human Rights: Advancing American Interests and Values,” Rice falsely accused Israeli “settlers” of perpetrating violence and “daily humiliations” on Palestinians, including detentions, confiscations and home demolitions – while refusing to even name those responsible for the frequent incitement and violence against Israelis.
ZOA accordingly urges Joe Biden to reconsider his appointment of Susan Rice.