Samantha Power

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Samantha Power has been designated (5 June 2013) by Barack Obama as the 28th United States Ambassador to the United Nations.

She has twisted and turned in an effort to make herself acceptable to the Israeli lobby. First, see this 2002 utterance, in which she said that, if a US government wanted to help improve the situation in the Middle East, this would involve 'alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import'. Now, see this 2008 statement, disowning what she had said in 2002.

Marc Ellis has written of her, Susan Rice and Barack Obama, referring to this photograph:

The New York Times has a photo of Obama, Rice and Power walking away from the President's announcement of their promotion. The camera angle is from behind; they have their arms draped around each other. . . . They look beaten rather than triumphant. As if the price they've paid to sit at the table of power has finally dawned on them. As if their will to power has taken everything from them, including their souls.[1]

Edward Herman has called Power "a top lieutenant in the humanitarian [interventionist] brigade"[2].

She is married to Cass Sunstein -- both are Jewish[3].

Philip Weiss reports (9 June 2013):[4]

Power is a philo-Semite. All four pivotal friends are or were members of the Jewish establishment; and in 2008 she married an accomplished Jew, Harvard prof Cass Sunstein, and Leon Wieseltier delivered a brimming toast at their wedding in Ireland, including these memories/insights:
I first encountered Samantha at a pool table most of two decades ago. She was, of course, startling. She had hot, laughing eyes and a free, probing mind and a chronology of the Bosnian catastrophe: a woman of ardor who made conscience seem sensuous. I resolved immediately to help her, and to helped by her, in our common cause of comprehending the savagery in the world and shaming the powers that could still be shamed into acting against it. Her vitality was extraordinary, even a little pathological. As you know, Samantha is either intense or asleep...
As my own generation has grimly shown, youthful idealism is often more a commitment to youth than a commitment to an ideal; but Samantha remains almost giddily unreconstructed in her imagination of justice. She demonstrates by example that idealism is for adults. The foulest consequence of injustice, aside from the suffering that it inflicts, is the damage that it can do to our sense of possibility; but Samantha has risen up to defend that sense, and to fortify it, and to prove it. Her good cheer, properly understood, is itself a call to action.

I remind you, Wieseltier hangs out at AIPAC conferences and bewails the disaffection of young Jews from Israel. "I'm one of those Jews for whom Zionism remains a beautiful word."

Lately, Alan Dershowitz has come forward in the Algemeiner to testify to Power's Israel bona fides, and assure us that she will be all for bombing Iran when that good season arrives:

I have known Samantha since she was my student at HLS, occasionally cutting classes to travel around the world while writing her Pulitzer Prize winning book A Problem From Hell. In that book, she laid out the difficult choices western democracies face when confronted with internal genocides committed abroad. If only Samantha had written her book in the 1930s, perhaps the world would not have stood idly by the rise of Nazism and the genocides against Jews, gypsies, gays and others.

Yes, she is an interventionist when it comes to preventing genocide. But she also cautions prudence in intervening for reasons other than the protection of endangered civilians.

To be sure, Samantha has said some things she now regrets�about Hillary Clinton, about Israel and about other controversial matters. She says what she thinks when she thinks it. As the United States representative to the United Nations, she will articulate the policy of the Obama Administration. She will have to be more diplomatic than she was while in private life. I am confident that she will make our country proud.

I have discussed the Israeli-Arab and Israeli-Palestinian conflict with Samantha on many occasions. As a strong supporter of Israel's security, I have a high level of confidence that she will do and say the right things. Indeed, because of her sometimes critical attitude toward certain Israeli policies�some of which I agree with, others of which I do not�she will bring added credibility to her positions at the most anti-Israel location in the world other than perhaps, Tehran. No one should expect to agree with everything an outspoken person like Samantha has said over the past decades. But nor should anyone judge her on isolated statements instead of on her distinguished total record.

While serving in the Obama Administration, she has supported Israel's security and defensive actions against terrorism. She stands squarely behind President Obama's pledge never to allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, even if preventive military action is required. She played a pivotal role in persuading the United States and some of our European allies to boycott the notorious Durban II conference, sponsored by the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, which invited Ahmadinejad to be its keynote speaker.

More cringeworthy moments ahead: Shmuley Boteach is a rabbi who ran for Congress in New Jersey last year as a Republican and lost. His entire platform was pro-Israel. You'd think he's political roadkill, but you'd be wrong. "Unexpectedly, Samantha got in touch," he writes in his endorsement at Huffpo:

this week I take my yarmulke off to President Obama for one of the most impressive actions of his presidency, namely, the nomination of Samantha Power to the post of American Ambassador to the United Nations... I am well aware that many of my colleagues in the pro-Israel camp view Samantha with suspicion and even hostility, accusing her of animus toward the Jewish state.
They are wrong.

Nathan Guttman reports:[5]

Israeli officials noted Power's leadership role in getting the administration to pull out of the 2009 Durban II anti-racism conference because of its anti-Israel bias. They also applauded her work in defeating the P.A.'s 2011 drive to achieve recognition for Palestine as an independent state through the United Nations Security Council. Power's strong profile on these two issues, said Jarrod Bernstein, who served until recently as liaison to the Jewish community at the White House, shows "two instances in which she distinguished herself as being on the right side of the community."

Power also participated in discussions that sought to dissipate the difficulties that Israel faced as a result of the 2009 Goldstone Report, which alleged that Israel had committed war crimes during its military campaign in Gaza the previous year.

Power was instrumental, too, in protecting Israel following the widespread condemnation it faced in 2010 for its attack on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ship that sought to deliver a shipment of humanitarian goods to Gaza in violation of the blockade that Israel had imposed on the territory. Before leaving her NSC post, Power, according to an official involved in those talks, worked on strategies for preventing Israel's adversaries in this episode from pursuing their case at the International Criminal Court in Hague.

Power's own positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict never colored her work on issues relating to Israel and were hardly discussed, an Israeli official said. Power did mention, in passing conversations with Israelis, that more could be done to advance the peace process, noting that it could "make our work easier" at the U.N., but even that, the official said, was "voiced in a gentle manner."

Philip Giraldi reports (24 July 2013):[6]

Samantha Power, basically just another Ivy League-cloned ambitious parvenu with an infinitely elastic moral compass, clearly feels good about herself because she possesses a bleeding heart that is constantly on display to demonstrate how much she truly cares about downtrodden people worldwide. Excluding the Palestinians, of course, for whom human rights and dignity are just figures of speech or, at best, aspirations. She surely has enough intelligence to know how to spell and even understand the word hypocrite but is the product of a corrupt system that rewards mendacity. She is a poster child for the cowardice of the Obama Administration's professional "progressives" whenever it comes time to speak candidly about Israel.

By David Cronin reports (18 June 2013):

Like most Irish-Americans who have climbed the political ladder, Samantha Power is an opportunist and a hypocrite. She has built a profitable career out of posing as a human rights activist, while being happy to court human rights abusers whenever it was expedient to do so.

Back in 2002, Power apparently upset those sensitive souls in the Zionist lobby when she dared to suggest that the US should impose a “solution” in Palestine. It was an offensive remark as it inferred that America wanted peace, when it had provided Israel with many of the arms being used to butcher Palestinians. But that wasn’t why the lobby got offended: it felt that she had committed the mortal sin of criticizing Israel.

Writing in The Huffington Post, Shmuley Boteach — apparently the “most famous rabbi in America” — recently bragged of how he convinced the Zionist lobby to trust Power. Boteach arranged for Power to meet 40 top lobbyists. During the encounter, “tears streamed down her cheeks,” he wrote, as Power insisted that her comments had been misconstrued.

Nauseating

As if that wasn’t nauseating enough, I’ve also read an article in the Israeli daily Haaretz about Power’s recent job in the White House. In 2009, she played a “central role,” the paper says, in coordinating contacts between the US and Israel on managing the political fall-out of Israel’s attack on Gaza at the beginning of that year. Power helped Israel to minimize the damage caused by the Goldstone report, the findings of a UN mission that Israel had perpetrated war crimes.

This, let us remember, was the same Samantha Power who advocates “atrocity prevention” and the “responsibility to protect.” Palestinians attacked by Israeli and American weapons, however, are not deemed worthy of protection.

Arguably more disgusting again is the fact that Power has edited a hagiography of Richard Holbrooke.

Affiliations

Notes

  1. Richard Falk, Opening the other eye: Charles Taylor and selective accountability, Al Jazeera, 1 May 2012
  2. About us
  3. Directors and Advisors, Genocide Watch, accessed 15 April 2008.
  4. Supporters, Investors Against Genocide, accessed 4 August 2008.

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