The Guardian reports: The senior White House adviser Susan Rice used a crucial speech on Monday to underscore the administration’s commitment to Israel and dismiss critics of its military offensive in Gaza, which has claimed hundreds of civilian lives, as biased and unjustified.
In a staunch defence of Israel’s response to rockets fired from the Palestinian territory controlled by Hamas, Rice was particularly critical of the United Nations human rights council, which recently voted for an inquiry into the possible war crimes violations committed by Israel.
“When countries single out Israel for unfair treatment at the UN, it isn’t just a problem for Israel, it is a problem for all of us,” Rice said on Monday. She added: “No country is immune from criticism, nor should it be. But when that criticism takes the form of singling out just one country, unfairly, bitterly and relentlessly, over and over and over, that is just wrong – and we all know it.”
Rice, who is national security adviser to Barack Obama, expressed concern about the deaths of civilians, on both sides, and reiterated the US president’s call for an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire.
The top adviser’s remarks came at a critical juncture. Rice spoke shortly after Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, used a televised press conference to warn Israelis to prepare for a long and protracted conflict, defying international calls for a cessation of the violence. [Continue reading…]