A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.
Samantha Power brings to foreign policy an activist impulse that many in the pro-Israel community wish was more prevalent among American diplomats.
Except Power, a former White House national security council staffer nominated this week by President Obama to represent the United States at the United Nations, has at times directed her interventionist inclinations at Israel.
A former journalist and Harvard-educated lawyer known for her work on human rights and genocide, Power presents a rare and polarizing dilemma for the pro-Israel community: Enthusiastically embrace her proclivity for tough U.S. intervention and hope it never manifests in her dealings with Israel? Or block her?
Two conservative Jewish groups, the Zionist Organization of America and Emet, have taken the latter approach. In urging the Senate to kill Power’s nomination, they have cited a 2002 video in which Power appears to advocate transferring U.S. assistance from Israel to the Palestinians and deploying an interventionary force to protect the Palestinians, among other statements.
“The overwhelming evidence of her entire record causes us great fear and concern,” the ZOA said in a statement.
Meanwhile, an array of Jewish groups — including the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly — have endorsed her unreservedly.
The ADL and the Rabbinical Assembly, in separate releases, each used the phrase “champion of human rights” to describe Power, who first came to wide public attention with the publication of her 2002 book, “A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide,” which considered American inaction in the face of various genocides.
Notably, two groups that maintain a regular U.N. presence, the American Jewish Committee and B’nai B’rith International, had no comment. B’nai B’rith’s said it was withholding approval of Power’s nomination until she addressed her earlier remarks under oath during Senate confirmation hearings.
“Israel has few real friends at the United Nations and at the top of the list is the United States, and it is really incumbent on the representative to be prepared, willing and able to rebuff and repel that kind of language,” said the group’s executive vice president, Daniel Mariaschin.
A similar dichotomy is playing out among Republican senators, with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a leading critic of what he sees as Obama’s gun-shy foreign policy, saying he would support her, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a Tea Party favorite, expressing deep skepticism at the choice.
On Friday afternoon, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a pro-Israel leader in the body, strongly endorsed her on Twitter. “As United Nations Ambassador, Samantha Power will aggressively represent the United States interests in an increasingly hostile body,” he said on one Tweet, and then immediately: “Power will also be a strong supporter of our close friend and ally Israel.”
The difference was pronounced this week even among Republican Jews, with the Republican Jewish Coalition urging senators to ask Power hard questions about past statements and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, whose failed candidacy last year for the U.S. House of Representatives was heavily touted by the RJC, singing her praises.
“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,” Boteach wrote in the Huffington Post.
Power, 42, was born in Ireland, but moved to Pittsburgh as a child. Her coverage of the Balkan wars for a number of American media outlets in the 1990s led to an interest in human rights law. Her 2002 book drew strong reviews and attracted the attention of Barack Obama, who was then contemplating a Senate run. Power joined his 2008 presidential campaign as an adviser and later the Obama White House, where she worked on on multilateral organizations.
Central to critiques of Power is a chat she had with a University of California-Berkeley professor, Harry Kreisler, in 2002, when she headed Harvard University’s Carr Center for Human Rights. Kreisler, hosting Power on his public access program, framed a question about U.S. intervention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a “thought experiment” and asked Power what she would do if “one party or another” seemed ready to commit genocide. At the time, Israelis and Palestinians were mired in the Second Intifada.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Two worshippers in a synagogue on Passover saved a child from death in a burning car that exploded shortly after the rescue. The worshippers rushed to the burning vehicle after hearing the family’ scream for help, and they found the toddler strapped in a car seat. The worshippers, Moshe Kupperman and a second man, identified […]
At the press conference with the Israeli reporters, Abbas threatened to cancel the Oslo Accords, dismantle the Palestinian Authority, and force the Israeli government to pay the salaries of PA employees and the police.
A survivors’ daughter serving in the IDF brings pride and joy to a Holocaust survivor.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Abbas must choose between peace with Israel or Hamas.
Border Police in Yitzhar’s yeshiva have plenty of time on their hands to learn a bit of Torah.
Gaza terrorists have launched another mortar attack on southern Israel, the second such attack in less than 24 hours.
The Jews for Jesus missionary group is using Holocaust imagery in a new video to lure Jews away from their faith.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the United States and the European Union of starting the crisis in Ukraine.
Tunisian lawmakers are questioning their tourism minister over a decision to allow Israelis to enter the country for the El Ghriba synagogue pilgrimage.
European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor has called on the European Union to ignore the upcoming Palestinian Authority unity government.
The U.S. has finally tossed in the towel on trying to force the Palestinian Authority to come to the table to talk with Israel.
There is lobbying going on both for and against including J Street in the Conference of Presidents.
This is United Torah Judaism parliament member Yaakov Litzman speaking in the Knesset. But when I saw it, all I could think of was the Pesach song, “Echad, Mi Yodea” (“One, Who Knows One?”).
The last one out of the Peace Talks Cemetery is requested to please lock the gate and throw the key away.
Arabs throwing stones at bus #65 on its way to Pisgat Zev in Jerusalem, injured one of the passengers. The woman was transported to Hadassah Har Tzofim hospital. Several other passengers were treated for shock.
William Rapfogel, the ousted leader of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty in New York, reportedly will plead guilty for his role in a scheme to steal more than $7 million from the social service agency. Rapfogel, who had served as CEO and president of the Met Council from 1992, was scheduled to enter a […]
Closed-minded liberal sophomoics think that anyone against Ground One Mosque and for profiling possible terrorists is a racist.
A Holocaust memorial and the grave of the brother of the late Lubavitcher rebbe were vandalized in Ukraine, amid a string of anti-Semitic attacks in the country.
Jordan’s foreign minister summoned the Israeli ambassador to protest what it called Israel’s “violations” on the Temple Mount. The Jordanian government told Ambassador Daniel Nevo that recent clashes between Muslim worshippers and Israeli soldiers on the Temple Mount a violation of the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan. The Temple Mount was closed to visitors […]
Two major obstacles have kept Israel from joining the program: Allegations by U.S. officials that Israel has discriminated against Arab- and Muslim-Americans seeking entry, and a proliferation of young Israelis traveling to the United States as tourists and then working illegally.
A Lebanese man who was arrested in Thailand on suspicion of belonging to Hezbollah admitted to targeting Israelis, Thai media reported.
(JTA) — The parents of a Jewish student at an exclusive girls’ school in London called on the head of school to make a public statement about an incident in which a teacher told their daughter that she would be sent “to one of your gas chambers.” The incident at North London Collegiate School occurred […]
Alan Gross suspended his hunger strike Friday after a week at the behest of his elderly mother. “Alan’s mother asked him to stop the fast,” Jill Zuckman, the spokeswoman of the family of the State Department subcontractor imprisoned in Cuba, told JTA. “He agreed to do that.” Gross, who launched his fast April 3, told […]
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/powers-interventionism-thrills-pro-israel-crowd-except-on-israel/2013/06/08/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: