But the Libya debacle aside, Rice was under increasing scrutiny over her record of militarism, including her support for the invasion of Iraq, her backing of authoritarian African leaders and her description of her post as ambassador to the UN as being intended to provide “unwavering support for Israel”. …

After Rice was appointed as Obama’s ambassador to the UN, she strongly backed military intervention in Libya; she has also pressed for American intervention in Syria. Rice has also said that “there is no daylight” between the US and Israel over Iran’s nuclear programme. Her supporters say that merely reflects the White House position.

Nonetheless, Rice’s vigorous support of Israel, not just at the security council table but in other forums, has raised eyebrows. She has gone to lengths to woo the biggest of the pro-Israel lobby groups, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and Jewish groups. Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, told The Forward that he regards Rice as a “gladiator” fighting to defend Israel in hostile atmosphere of the UN.