Susan Rice: Annexation would make bipartisanship on Israel ‘much harder to sustain’
Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, who also served as national security advisor under President Barack Obama, believes Israeli annexation of the West Bank would have “negative consequences” for the U.S. and Israel that it would be a risky move on the part of the Israeli government.
Rice joins a number of policy makers and community leaders who will address a virtual webcast hosted by Israel Policy Forum later today titled “The Road Ahead: Leading Responsibly for Israel’s Future.” Prominent speakers include Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy, Ret. Gen. John Allen, former Israeli intelligence and military heads Ami Ayalon, Danny Yatom and Gadi Shamni, along with American Jewish leaders.
In an interview with Israel Policy Forum’s executive committee member Alan Solow — shared with Jewish Insider ahead of its broadcast — Rice asserted that “on so many levels” annexing parts of the West Bank “is a risky outcome that that is not necessary for any strategic purpose— in my judgment — but more as a political statement, and the negative consequences for Israel’s security, for its standing in the region, for its relationships with the rest of the world, as well as for American interests, is hard to overstate.”
Rice, who is reportedly a contender for former Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate, added that such an effort “would make the traditionally bipartisan strong support for Israel that much harder to sustain.”
The former diplomat first visited Israel at age 14 on a family trip. ”It is a state and a people whose future and integrity as a Jewish and democratic state I feel strongly about,” Rice stressed. “And there’s no other way to preserve that Jewish state and its democratic nature without a two state solution… For that to be lost as the objective we all seek, that we continue to strive for, means that, fundamentally, either Israel will no longer be able to sustain itself as a Jewish state or it will no longer be able to sustain itself as a democracy. And in my estimation, either outcome is one we have to try to avoid at all costs.”
Rice said that unilateral action on behalf of the Israeli government “would add up to a net negative for the United States and our interests in the region, and I believe over the long term, a net negative for Israel.”