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Rice: Attacks on Israel at UN undercut peace

JTA

May 10, 2013 | 9:24 am

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice in Boca Raton, Florida, on May 10. Photo by Joe Skipper/Reuters

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice in Boca Raton, Florida, on May 10. Photo by Joe Skipper/Reuters

The barrage of attacks on Israel at the United Nations undercuts the quest for peace, said Susan Rice, the U.S. envoy to the body.

"At its best, the U.N. does extraordinary things such as: keep the peace, help save untold civilians from Qaddafi in Libya, midwife the new nation of South Sudan, and empower women and girls worldwide," Rice said Thursday at a luncheon in New York where she accepted the American Jewish Committee's Distinguished Public Service Award.

"But the U.N. isn’t at its best when it comes to Israel. In fact, it’s sometimes at its worst," Rice continued. "Anyone who cares about the international system has to be concerned when one member state is unfairly singled out."

Rice described Israel as enduring "a barrage of obsessive, unbalanced, and relentless criticism" at the United Nations.

"That undermines the trust between the parties that Secretary of State John Kerry is working so hard to build," she said. "It also undermines the U.N.’s own highest values. The U.N. should be a place where conflicts are cooled, not inflamed—where confidence is built, not eroded."

Rice lamented last month in an address to the Reform movement that an outsize portion of her time at the United Nations is spent defending Israel.

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