National Security Adviser Susan Rice told Charlie Rose that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming address to a joint session of Congress is “destructive” to U.S.-Israeli relations.
Rice told Rose, “The relationship between Israel as a country and the United States as a country has always been bipartisan. And we’ve been fortunate politics have not been injected into that relationship. What has happened over the last several weeks, by virtue of the invitation that was issued by the speaker and the acceptance of it by Prime Minister Netanyahu on two weeks in advance of his election, is that on both sides, there has now been injected a degree of partisanship, which I think is not only unfortunate. It is destructive of the fabric of that relationship.”
Rose interrupted to emphasize and question Rice’s point, “It’s destructive of the fabric of the relationship?”
“Charlie, take my point,” she replied. “It’s always been bipartisan. We need to keep it that way. We want it that way. I think that Israel wants it that way. The American people want it that way. And when it becomes injected or infused with politics, that’s a problem.”
Rose asked her if she though the prime minister was hoping to influence Israel’s election by speaking to Congress. Rice refused to ascribe motives for Netanyahu’s speech.
A growing number of Democrats are boycotting the speech, the vice president has announced he will not attend and the White House has announced that the president will not meet with the prime minister while he is in town.