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Sunday Study Guide: Netanyahu, Rice, and roundtable

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

  •  Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, has held various positions within the Israeli government. Netanyahu, who lived in the U.S. as an adolescent and attended MIT, joined the diplomatic mission in the U.S. in 1982 was later appointed ambassador to the United Nations. Once back in Israel, Netanyahu was elected to Israel’s legislative body, the Knesset, and was elected prime minister in 1996. He served until 1999 when he took a break from politics. Upon his return, he served as minister of foreign affairs and minister of finance, before rejoining the Knesset. In 2009, Netanyahu regained the position of prime minister.  
  • Prime Minister Netanyahu has been in the news recently for his tense relationship with the White House. After the U.S. said it would not place deadlines on Iran regarding its nuclear program, Netanyahu said, “Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.” There has also been controversy over whether or not the White House declined a meeting with Netanyahu.


  Ambassador Susan Rice

  •  Susan Rice is the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and a member of President Obama's Cabinet. Rice has previously served as the U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs from 1997 until 2001 and from 2002-2009 was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, where her focus was issues such as U.S. foreign policy and transnational security threats.
  • Rice spoke Wednesday about the loss of Ambassador Chris Stevens and his colleagues. She said this “reminds us all of the service and sacrifice of our diplomats overseas.” In a press release she also said she joins President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in “condemning in the strongest terms this vicious and violent attack.”
  • The ambassador was last on Meet the Press in February 2011 during the uprisings in the Middle East to talk about the Arab Spring. At the time she said of the administration’s response, “The message is the same:  No violence; respect the universal rights of people to assemble, to protest, to speak, to form political organizations; and, get ahead of reform, recognize that there needs to be lasting political change and lasting economic change. Watch Ambassador Rice’s last appearance.


 Roundtable: Ellison, King, Goldberg, Woodward, and Mitchell   

  • Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) represents Minnesota’s fifth Congressional district. He serves on the House Financial Services Committee and previously served on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. One of only two Muslims in Congress, Ellison called the video that is thought to have spurred attacks in Libya and Egypt “amateurish and stupid” but said “responding with violence is never justified. And those who think they are doing so in the name of Islam are wrong and ill informed.”
  • Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and has served New York’s third Congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1993. King has supported the overarching message of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney response to the recent violence, but said Romney should have waited to release a more comprehensive statement and later should make a thorough Middle East policy statement. He has also called on President Obama for a tougher response. Watch King’s last Meet the Press appearance.
  • The Atlantic’s national correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg has been writing about the violence this week. He commented on the tension this has illuminated regarding offensive speech, writing that “the mission of the U.S. government should be stand up for free speech regardless of how offensive it is.” Goldberg has also been following the tense relationship between the White House and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over Iran. Here is Goldberg’s last appearance on Meet the Press.
  • Associate Editor of The Washington Post Bob Woodward is out with a new book, “The Price of Politics,” which takes a behind-the-scenes look at the debt deal negotiations last year. Watch Bob Woodward’s last appearance here.
  • Andrea Mitchell is thechief foreign affairs correspondent for NBC News andthehost of Andrea Mitchell Reports. Appearing on The Rachel Maddow Show, Mitchell noted the Romney campaign’s early press release about events in Libya and Egypt may have been in response to pressure from conservative who wanted him to take a tougher stance on foreign affairs. However, she said there has been an ongoing back-and-forth release of combative statements both campaigns have engaged in. Mitchell said, “This is a serious business. This is not the stuff of combative political press releases.” Watch Mitchell’s last appearance on Meet the Press.


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