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Susan Rice to Visit Israel in May

White House announces that National Security Adviser will travel to Israel in May. Last month she blasted Israel for criticizing Kerry.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 3/7/2014, 5:16 AM

Susan Rice
Susan Rice
Reuters

A month after she blasted Israel for criticizing Secretary of State John Kerry, the White House announced Wednesday that U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice will travel to Israel in May.

AFP reported that Rice will head an American delegation for wide-ranging bilateral talks.

The announcement came two days after President Barack Obama met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the White House.

"President Obama has asked National Security Adviser Susan Rice to travel to Israel in May to lead the U.S. delegation to the U.S.-Israel Consultative Group," a White House statement quoted by AFP said.

The statement continued by saying that "Rice looks forward to her first visit to Israel as national security adviser to continue our strategic consultations on a wide range of bilateral and regional issues."

Last month Rice, formerly the American ambassador to the United Nations, had criticism for Israel, after several Israeli ministers blasted Kerry, who threatened Israel with a boycott should peace talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA) fail.

In a series of posts on her Twitter accounts, Rice said, “Personal attacks in Israel directed at Sec Kerry totally unfounded and unacceptable.”

“John Kerry’s record of support for Israel’s security and prosperity rock solid,” she wrote, adding, “POTUS and Sec Kerry remain committed to negotiations that can secure Israeli and Palestinian futures.”

Her last tweet read, “U.S. Govt [sic] has been clear and consistent that we reject efforts to boycott or delegitimize Israel.”

Kerry’s comments in Munich were blasted by many Israeli officials, such as Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett, who made clear that “a country has yet to be born that will give up its land because of economic threats, and we won't either. Only security will bring financial stability, not a terror state next to the Ben Gurion Airport."

In 2012, Rice came under attack from Republicans, after she said the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, was a “spontaneous reaction” to the “Innocence of Muslims” film, which depicted the Muslim prophet Mohammad as a buffoon and pedophile. The film sparked a wave of angry anti-American protests across the Middle East in which more than 30 people were killed.

Republicans pounced on Rice after her remarks, which were later proven wrong when it was revealed that Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists were behind the attack. Rice had been Obama’s leading candidate to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, but she withdrew from the race over the criticism of her Benghazi remarks.