Samantha Power, President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, has promised to push for a UN Security Council seat for Israel. (Loyalty to Israel is considered a prerequisite for high office, and creative ways of advancing Israel’s agenda are often rewarded with career advancement.)
RIGHT: Samantha Power completes her training. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
“The United States has no greater friend in the world than the State of Israel,” Power told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at her confirmation hearing on July 17, 2013.
At the end of the day, I met with her to get further details. Here is a transcript of our discussion:
Barb Weir: Ms. Power, your advocacy for Israel in the hearings today is impressive, but how can you get Israel onto the Security Council? Aren’t most of its neighbors in the Middle East and the Muslim world opposed to being represented by Israel?
Samantha Power: That’s true, Barb, but we consider Israel to be part of Western Europe, which of course it is, if you ignore geographic considerations. It would take one of the European seats and represent Europe.
Barb Weir: How do the Europeans feel about that?
Samantha Power: That’s been an obstacle until now, but with our urging, many of them will be willing to do almost anything for Israel. We are also hoping to add Qatar to Europe, which will improve chances for Israel.
Barb Weir: And if they don’t, what’s plan B?
Samantha Power: In that case, we’ll simply give the U.S. seat to Israel. That is in practice no different from the current situation, but if Israel can get a European seat, that means it will have two. And two are better than one.
Barb Weir: On another matter, you famously once spoke of “major human rights abuses” on the part of Israel. As we know, that got you into trouble with Israel supporters, which include the entire U.S. government. Please clarify the statement and explain how it affected your confirmation hearings.
Samantha Power: I have clarified the misunderstanding many times. The quote is accurate, but I never said that I was opposed to Israel’s abuses. In today’s hearing I emphatically stated that “We need to deter the Palestinians in any way we can.” I therefore fully support Israel’s human rights abuses of Palestinians and of any other groups that it may choose to abuse.
Barb Weir: Do you think this will help your confirmation?
Samantha Power: Of course. Why would I say it otherwise? Both Democrats and Republicans are united in supporting Israel’s version of manifest destiny and assuring Palestinian dispossession, and neither wants to alienate a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import. For that reason I’m confident that my confirmation is assured.