Susan Rice: Palestinians Are Delaying Creation of Their State

By Jeffrey Goldberg

The anti-Israel Barack Obama, who has strengthened America's defense and intelligence ties with Israel (despite secretly hating it, as many Republican will tell you), also appointed the secretly Israel-hating Susan Rice as American ambassador to the United Nations, where she spends much of her time vigorously defending Israel (go figure). Just like yours truly, she sees the Palestinian gambit at the United Nations as worse than useless. Late last week I spoke with Rice about the upcoming battle at the UN over Palestinian statehood. Here are some of her comments:

On the Obama Administration's approach to the Middle East at the United Nations: "Just as we have been doing for two and a half years, beating back counterproductive anti-Israel efforts of various flavors in New York and in Geneva, we've been seeing this one coming for quite a while and working to try to avoid it, not only because this is consistent with our overall approach to defend Israel's right to defend itself, but because it is counterproductive."

She explained: "This is about shortcutting a process for which there are no shortcuts. At the end of the day, there's only one way to create two states for two peoples, and that is negotiations To have a drama that changes very little in the world vis-a-vis the actual conflict, and then to expect that while one party is taking this great victory lap the other party is going to run to the negotiating table, is not necessarily realistic."

On the President's priorities: "The President has invested a great deal of energy in trying to bring the parties to the negotiating table and accomplish and achieve a solution. It's in our interests, the interests of Israel, and of the Palestinian people, not to mention the region and the wider world. None of what is going on in New York is going to create in the real world a Palestinian state. In fact, it will divert and delay the creation of a Palestinian state."

On what might happen after a vote: "I'm worried that the Palestinian people, after the partiesĀ  are over, will wake up and realize that nothing has changed. In a fragile economy, with the Palestinian Authority calling people to the streets to protest, in the context of what's happening in the region, this is pretty volatile. We should not assume that when people, having had their hopes raised, see that not much has happened, it will just be shrugged off. Where this leads I can't predict."

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/09/susan-rice-palestinians-are-delaying-creation-of-their-state/245260/