White House National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice slammed Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank Monday night, while she pledged that the Obama administration will increase U.S. military support for Israel.
“Settlement activity corrodes the possibility of two states. It moves us toward a one-state reality,” Ms. Rice told the American Jewish Committee’s Global Forum in Washington.
She said the administration opposes settlement activity in the West Bank “just like every administration since 1967, Republican and Democratic, just as we oppose counterproductive Palestinian actions including incitement and violence.”
Referring to talks last week in Paris talks on Israeli-Palestinian peace, Ms. Rice said the participants emphasized “that a negotiated two-state solution is the only way to achieve an enduring peace.”
“Peace is necessary, just and possible,” she said.
She tried to reassure her audience about what President Obama calls his “unshakable” support for Israel, in spite of his often frosty relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“When one country is singled out time and time again on the floor of the U.N., Israel is not alone,” she said. “When angry voices attack Israel’s right to exist, Israel is not alone.”
But “by the same token,” Ms. Rice said, “when Palestinians are attacked by mobs shouting death to Arabs, when Palestinian mosques and churches are vandalized, the Palestinian people are not alone.”
As the president’s top national security aide, Ms. Rice has been negotiating a new 10-year military aid deal with Israel. The unfinished agreement is expected to provide Israel with nearly $40 million in aid beginning in 2019.
“Even in these days of belt-tightening, we are prepared to sign the single largest military assistance package with any country in history,” Ms. Rice said.
She said Israel will begin receiving F-35 stealth fighter jets later this year, and the two nations are cooperating on anti-missile and anti-tunnel defense technologies.
“Israel’s enemies are on notice — if you come at Israel by land, by sea, by air or even under the earth, you will lose,” Ms. Rice said.
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