President-elect Barack Obama's choice for U.S. envoy to the United Nations said Thursday that the UN is often used to "willfully and unfairly condemn Israel." "The flaws and disappointing actions within the UN are rooted in its potential to serve as an engine for progress," Susan Rice said in her prepared statement for her her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "All nations understand the importance of this institution." "[That is] why many try to use the UN to willfully and unfairly condemn our ally Israel."
She also cites the present conflict, saying, "recent events remind us yet again of the importance of working to help Israelis and Palestinians achieve their goal of a peaceful two-state solution that achieves lasting security for Israel and a viable state for the Palestinians." "I will work to enable the United Nations to play a constructive role in pursuit of this goal," she said. Rice added that she will work to strengthen "an indispensable if imperfect" institution.
And from the New York Times, more about Israel from Rice's Senate testimony:
Ms. Rice herself ... brought up Gaza’s humanitarian crisis, noting that the incoming Obama administration was greatly concerned about “the suffering of innocents” and on a broader scale determined to forge ahead with a two-state solution.
“There needs to be a durable cease-fire, but a durable cease-fire has to entail the halt to Hamas rockets against Israel and the Israeli people,” Ms. Rice said. She said those would include effective measures to control weapons smuggling into Gaza and an effective means to control the border.
Once the fighting ended, she said, “We need to mount a swift and robust effort to attend to the dire humanitarian needs inside Gaza.”