Monday, March 28, 2011

Van Jones, the Sequel:
Anti-Israel Views from National Security Council Staffer Samantha Power

Samantha Power speaking in Geneva. Author: United States Mission Geneva, Eric Bridiers. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Once again, a video of a senior Administration official expressing radical leftist views has surfaced. The views are nutty enough that the White House staff should begin planning another going away lunch.

Samantha Power is the Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs on the National Security Council, Professor of Human Rights Practice at the Kennedy School of Government, and the author of A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide. According to yesterday’s Boston Globe, "[a]long with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN Ambassador Susan Rice, Power is being credited (or blamed) with convincing President Obama to start bombing Libya to thwart air attacks by dictator Moammar Khadafy against rebels.” As one of the architects of the administration’s Libya policy, her pronouncements are receiving significant media attention, including her remarks in this video:

Ms. Powers’ apparent call for American military intervention in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict has garnered most of the attention. In all fairness to Ms. Power, her suggestion of an American invasion of Israel by a "mammoth protection force" appears to be in response to a purely hypothetical question. Unfortunately, some of the video’s less hypothetical statements are also quite disturbing:

“It may, more crucially mean sacrificing, or investing I think more than sacrificing really, billions of dollars not in servicing Israeli’s military but actually investing in the new state of Palestine.” For over sixty years, Israel has been a reliable ally to the United States in a region of the world where we have considerable interests. The Israelis continue to be surrounded by hostile nations that have invaded their land four times. The Jewish State successfully defended itself against those invasions, but only with the financial support of the United States. Ms. Power proposes to take aid away from our friends and turn it over to people who committed acts of terror against both Israelis and Americans, cheered the destruction of the World Trade Center, and continue to launch rocket attacks against Israeli civilians. The proposal is irresponsible, unjust, and contrary to our best interests as a nation.

“People who are fundamentally, politically destined to destroy the lives of their own people, and by that I mean what Tom Friedman has called ‘Sharafat’.” The contraction of the names of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and P.LO. leader Yasser Arafat, along with Powers’ non-specific accusation of “major human rights abuses” is an attempt to establish moral equivalency between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Many writers have addressed the moral equivalency myth, few more eloquently than Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz. “Part of the goal of organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas,” he wrote, “is to gain moral legitimacy for their terrorist tactics by having them equated with the conventional military tactics used by democratic regimes. Only the morally obtuse — or perverse — cannot recognize the difference between a terrorist group that targets civilian population centers with anti-personnel weapons designed to maximize civilian casualties and a democracy that seeks to prevent terrorism by employing smart bombs designed to minimize civilian casualties.” (How the U.N. legitimizes terrorists, Jewish World Review, July 26, 2006)

“Putting something on the line might mean alienating a domestic constituency of (laugh) tremendous political and financial import.” A common thread runs from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion to Mein Kampf to Meersheimer and Walt’s The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy: the Jews, they all say, control the levers of power. Ms. Power repeats this insidious claim that has done so much harm to the Jewish people over the last century.

Ms. Power recognizes that her recommendations are unpopular, but, she explains, “there’s [sic] certain sets of principles that guide our policy.” She didn’t specify what these principles are, but apparently they involve betraying our friends, establishing moral equivalence between a democratic state and its terrorist enemies, and perpetuating traditional anti-Semitic stereotypes.

These are not the principles to guide the foreign policy of the United States. President Obama should stop asking for her advice and start asking for her resignation. Ms. Power would not be the first Obama advisor whose radical views are at odds with the fundamentals of U.S. policy. Green jobs czar Van Jones resigned in 2009 following revelations of his participation in communist and 9-11 truther organizations. If you agree that it is time for Samantha Power to go the way of Van Jones, please contact the White House at

Thank you to Fleming and Hayes for calling my attention to this video via their fine blog.

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