The United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice skipped Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to the U.N. General Assembly Thursday afternoon, opting instead to go to a luncheon with foreign ministers.
President Obama had earlier refused a private meeting with the prime minister, saying that pressing campaign obligations would take him out of New York during Netanyahu’s visit. The President did manage, however, to make an appearance on the television show “The View.”
While Obama asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to listen in on Thursday’s address on behalf of the White House, neither Clinton nor Ambassador Rice was in attendance.
“Today, our UN ambassador, Susan Rice, did not attend the speech by the prime minister because the speeches went long today. Instead she elected to go to a lunch with foreign ministers, and so she wasn’t present,” Fox news commentator Greta Van Susteren explained.
“We had our envoy there and we had our US ambassador to Israel there, but for some reason it would appear to me that in light of the problems we’ve had showing our closeness with this country — she should have been there,” she added.
John Bolton, the United States’ ambassador to the UN under former President George W. Bush, said that while he is shocked by Rice’s behavior, he isn’t surprised given the Obama administration’s actions during the last three-and-a-half years.
“From the Obama administration point of view, I would have thought she would have attended both the Netanyahu speech and Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority,” Bolton said in an interview with Van Susteren. “Instead she went to have lunch with Hillary Clinton and the foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the Security Council.”
Bolton said that President Obama has shown “utter disdain for both Prime Minister Netanyahu and the state of Israel.”
“It’s simply one more brick in the wall of the case that the president is perfectly prepared to isolate Israel and that he does not hold the US/Israel relationship in the same high regard as every president going back to Harry Truman,” Bolton added.