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Rice: ‘No shortcut’ to Mideast peace

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, told a Jewish group that there is “no shortcut” to peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Achieving a Palestinian state “can only come through direct negotiations and a negotiated two-state solution,”  Rice emphasized during a conversation with American Jewish Committee executive director David Harris on Monday before a crowd of AJC members in New York.

Rice also noted the uncertainty with the Palestinians’ intentions and that “nobody knows for sure what the Palestinians will choose to do, if anything, in the coming weeks or months.” 

The Palestinians are adhering to the Middle East Quartet deadline of Jan. 26 for direct negotiations to resume between the parties, but Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that there could be a possibility of a resumption of contacts between the parties after he consults with Arab League officials on Feb. 4. 

In addition, Rice argued that the U.S. spends “an enormous amount of time defending Israel’s right to defend itself” and that it reflected poorly on member nations that continue to use the United Nations “as a venue in which they can attack and harass Israel.”
 

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