By Jacob Kamaras/

Samantha Power, President Barack Obama’s replacement for Susan
Rice as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, has a history of controversial
comments about Israel, reigniting concerns regarding the Obama administration’s
support for the Jewish state that were raised after the nomination of Secretary
of Defense Chuck Hagel.

Samantha Power, the new U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Credit: Eric Bridiers.

Morton Klein,
national president of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), told on Wednesday that a look at the
list of Obama’s nominees and appointments to positions that impact
Israel–including Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Director of the Central
Intelligence Agency John O. Brennan, and now Power–“makes very clear that
President Obama is no friend of Israel, and that he is insensitive to the
interests of American Jews and the pro-Israel community, because all of those
important posts have been filled with people who have been very hostile to

Power from January 2009 to March 2013 held positions including
special assistant to the president, senior director for
multilateral affairs and human rights on the National Security Council, and
member of the Atrocities Prevention Board.

During a 2002 interview at the University of California,
Berkeley Institute of International Studies, when asked what she would advise a
U.S. president to do if either party in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was
“moving towards genocide,” Power referenced the pro-Israel lobby by saying the
situation might mean America “alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous
political and financial import,” before seemingly vouching for an American invasion of Israel to protect the Palestinians from

“It may mean more crucially sacrificing–or investing, I think,
more than sacrificing–literally billions of dollars not in servicing Israelis’,
you know, military, but actually in investing in the new state of Palestine, in
investing billions of dollars it would probably take also to support, I think,
what will have to be a mammoth protection force, not of the old, you know,
Srebrenica kind or the Rwanda kind, but a meaningful military presence,” said
Power, who later retracted her comments in an interview with Haaretz.

In a 2007 interview posted on the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s
website, Power said, “America’s important historic relationship with Israel has
often led foreign policy decision-makers to defer reflexively to Israeli
security assessments, and to replicate Israeli tactics, which, as the war in
Lebanon last summer demonstrated, can turn out to be counter-productive.”

Power has also criticized the New York Times for
reporting that there was no massacre of Palestinians in Jenin in 2002,
commenting in the 2003 book Ethnic Violence and Justice, “I was
struck by a headline that accompanied a news story on the publication of the
Human Rights Watch report. The headline was, I believe: ‘Human Rights Reports
Finds Massacre Did Not Occur in Jenin.’ The second paragraph said, ‘Oh, but
lots of war crimes did.’ Why wouldn’t they make the [Israeli] war crimes the
headline and the non-massacre the second paragraph?”

ZOA’s Klein told that the appointment of Power is
a troubling development for the prospects of Israel at the UN, a body whose
resolutions already frequently condemn the Jewish state. Klein added that
Power’s firing from Obama’s 2008 election campaign over calling Hillary Clinton
“a monster” indicates that Power lacks the diplomatic tact required for the UN
ambassador role.

Klein …read more


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