During a well-publicized interview in 2002, Samantha Power reflected on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. She advocated a diversion of funds committed by the US Administration to Israel—for its defense needs—to the Palestinian Authority. She called for a US military intervention aimed at imposing a solution on the Palestinian question. She appeared to portray the Palestinians as victims of Israeli oppression.
In a radio interview in 2008, she doubled down on her extreme leftist’s views, responding to a question by complaining that "So much of it is about: 'Is he going to be good for the Jews?"
In a 2011 interview with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, she seemed to have changed course. Boteach reported that “Samantha Power seemed genuinely and deeply pained by the perception that she was not a friend of Israel.” She rationalized her 2002 comments by explaining that she was asked to respond to a “thought experiment”, a trick question— “what she would advise an American president if it seemed that either party in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict were moving toward genocide”—and that she stumbled, nose-diving into that trap. Had she had more media experience, she should not have responded. She alluded to the fact that her words were taken out of full context.
Given the multi-colored picture painted above, the question of whether or not Ms. Power’s new appointment is “good for the Jews” is not a trivial one. Still, the answer, in my opinion, is fairly obvious. Samantha Power’s earlier views concerning Israel will not be pertinent to her job in the UN.
Here is why.
The UN ambassador is merely a messenger. He or she serves at the pleasure of the president of the US. Although ambassadors write their own speeches, they follow talking points consistent with US policy determined by the president.
Regardless of their brilliance or points-made, speeches in the UN do not sway opinions. All ambassadors follow voting choices inspired and determined by their bosses, the top leaders, the true policy makers in their country. Ethics and justice are as dead as Latin. Politics and venal national interests rule the roost in the UN.
Samantha Power will follow directions, passed on to her by President Obama when it comes to voting choices and dealings with other diplomats, regardless of her personal preferences or emotional brainwaves.
And when it comes to the president, we have witnessed a dramatic evolution in his attitude toward the Jewish state in general, and concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular. When President Obama took office in 2009 he believed that Israel was at fault for the unending stalemate in the “Peace Process”; he believed that the Arab countries and Iran could be won over by his show of respect and admiration to the Muslim world. By 2013, he appears to have learned a lesson. He understands the reality of the situation. He does not merely say that he is a true supporter of the Jewish state; he delivers, and he does so with unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation, significant financial support, perseverance before an extensive anti-Israel lobbying consensus in the UN Security Council, while employing the US Veto power time and again to stop bullying the Jewish State.
But above all, we must remind ourselves that leaders go through a life changing reality check once they assume power. On their campaign trail, or while in the political Opposition Party, they stick to popular ideals; they advocate solutions that make their supporters and potential voters feel good. They do so with no consideration or understanding of political, economic and national security constraints. It’s easy and trendy when the buck stops somewhere else.
Samantha Power was not representing her country when she was making her unfortunate remarks. She could afford articulating “shoot from the hip” ideals as advocated repeatedly by the extreme left; she represented no one else but herself. When, all at once, her words and actions might stand for her country, her boss rather than her own naive ideologies, she would become increasingly more responsible, more self-scrutinizing, more educated about the actual realities of the Middle East.
I would not lose sleep, not even for a moment, as a consequence of Samantha Power’s elevation to the job of the next US ambassador to the UN.
Avi Perry is the author of “72 Virgins”—a popular thriller about a countdown to a terror attack on US soil. He is currently a talk show host at Paltalk News Network (PNN). He served as an intelligence expert for the Israeli government and was a professor at Northwestern University. He was a VP at NMS Communications, a Bell Laboratories distinguished staff member and manager, and a delegate of the US and Lucent Technologies to UN International Standards body. He is also the author of “Fundamentals of Voice Quality Engineering in Wireless Networks.” For more information, visit www.aviperry.org.
Undermining government policies, inhibiting successful acts designed to improve quality of life for its citizens is what the political opposition does in a democracy. But when these destructive actions are reinforced and amplified by the media, when they work against the national agenda, when the majority of the citizens swear by the false concepts the media is shoving down our throats, the outcomes may turn calamitous.
This is the situation we are in at the moment. Someone needs to set off the alarm bells and call the bluff, switch direction, and bring about a turnaround.
Case 1: The huge rallies, the ads, the protests, the outpouring sympathy designed to apply pressure on someone for releasing of Gilad Shalit from Hamas’s captivity do not help the poor kid. They accomplish the exact opposite. They raise the price we must pay for his freedom; they elevate his captors’ status, provide them with powers they would have never assumed, had the media and the public lowered the volume.
The result—Gilad is still in captivity with little hope for being set free—an exact opposite of the protesters’ objective.
Case 2: The world media including many world leaders have fashioned a trendy, misguided perception that the existing state of affairs between Israel and the Palestinians is unsustainable, that time is running out on the current status quo, that a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority is absolutely essential.
Here in Israel people have deemed a peace agreement necessary in being able to move toward a more permanent and a more stable international standing, a more prosperous economy, and a more favorable view of Israel as a fair and just democracy.
These people point to the latest ostensible political tsunami—the Turkish condemnation and threats, the Egyptians’ attack on the Israeli embassy, the Jordanians’ hostile position, a world’s support for the unilateral Palestinians’ move in the UN—as proof of their world outlook. They accuse PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s, claiming that his policies are the root cause for Israel’s isolation.
Truth is, the situation Israel has found itself in lately is not new or unique, and certainly not worse than any past state of affairs. The Jewish state has been living under a cloud of isolation including an existential threat since before its birth. In fact, Israel’s international standing is relatively stable; its economy is growing faster than most of the world’s highly developed nations, and quality of life in the Jewish state is relatively high and reasonably safe—safer and better than at any time in its past one hundred years.
Once again, this flawed assessment is the primary motive behind the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) refusal to negotiate, to compromise. This false urgency weakens Israel’s negotiating position, brings about universal frustration with Israel’s inability to move the “peace process” forward as if this process is a matter of life or death for Israel—not for the Palestinians.
Unfortunately, the status quo is the best “bad” option Israel has at this point in its history. All other options—a single dual-national state with no Jewish majority or a return to the 1967 cease fire line with no security guaranties—are far worse. Israel must adopt the status quo option and sell it to the rest of the world even if most nations refuse to buy it.
Accepting the false notion that time is running out on the present status quo, that the existing state of affairs between Israel and the Palestinians is unsustainable, is a self-fulfilling prophesy. It invites international pressure; it weakens Israel’s resolve, and it might even bear much worse consequences.
Case 3: Erroneously, the world keeps considering Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, as the representative of the Palestinian people. This view is obviously out of touch with reality. There are in fact two separate Palestinian entities, the PA, which is unstable at best, and Hamastan in Gaza , which is not under the PA's influence or jurisdiction. Furthermore, the government in Ramallah may be replaced by a terrorist regime before long, subsequent to signing of a peace agreement with Israel.
Although the Israeli government keeps reminding the world that Gaza is a terrorist nest, the world continues to regard Judea, Samaria and Gaza as the territory of the future Palestinian state following a peace agreement between Abbas and Israel. The contradiction and the insanity of this concept does not seem to register with anyone concerned with the peace process.
How will Israel defend itself against a terrorist state, with which it has signed a peace agreement? Won’t it be much more logical to hang on to the status quo, keep the checkpoints and maintain Israel’s legitimate right for preemptive means in self-defense?
By accepting Mahmud Abbas as the representative of all Palestinians, Israel continues to promote a fantasy. It reinforces a false notion and helps promote the Palestinian demand for a single Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Ignoring the facts that there are two separate (geographically and ideologically) Palestinian entities and the fact that Abbas is potentially replaceable by a Hamas leader is like claiming that Yasser Arafat was worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize, or that the Palestinians want to live in peace next to a Jewish state.
Accepting the imaginary notion that a peace agreement with Abbas would end the conflict with the Palestinians (including the regime in Gaza) and that Israel should strive for a two-state solution is the main reason for the world’s frustration with Israel’s inability to close on a peace agreement with the PA. Israel must make clear to the world that Abbas represents a small sect of the Palestinian people, that peace with Abbas is not peace with the Palestinians, and that peace with Abbas will only inhibit Israel’s ability to guard against Islamic terror practiced or supported by the majority of the Palestinian population in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
It takes place every night.
At 9 PM New York time Piers Morgan takes to airwaves at CNN where he interviews celebrities, politicians and newsmakers. Recently, he was in Israel, where he dedicated the full hour to a face-to-face with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The next night he talked to PLO representative to the U.S., Maen Rashid Areikat who responded to Netanyahu’s claim that Israel had no partner for peace.
The PLO representative made it clear.
“The Palestinians have already made an enormous compromise for the sake of peace,” he claimed. “They have agreed to a two-state solution.”
Wow! Silly me! Why didn’t I think of that? Why did this down-to-earth veracity never cross my mind?
I guess, my logical reasoning points me to believe that when one offers to give away something he is not in the possession of and will never be, he engages in a con game. For all I know, Israel could play along, provided that con games are in fashion nowadays. Israel could counter offer:
“Dear Mr. Areikat, our deal is even better than a two-state solution. We offer Hawaii, Saudi Arabia and Norway, and if you are not fully satisfied, we will throw in New Jersey and the Brooklyn Bridge, merely for dessert.”
Problem is, rules in the Middle East are not symmetric. The Arabs are allowed to lie, to pretend, to double-cross. They are allowed to commit war crimes by claiming “resistance.” They can be charming in English when speaking to western reporters and politicians, then be contradictory, reversing their positions when speaking in Arabic to their own people.
In contrast, should Israel attempt any of these tactics, the sky will open and the acid will pour down in a tornado-packed thunderstorm.
Sorry, the Jewish state is not allowed to play by the same rules… Damn!
Case in point — the massacre in Itamar, an Israeli settlement in the Samarian hills, and its aftermath—it took place a couple of weeks ago. Palestinian terrorists broke into the home of Udi and Ruth Fogel and murdered the parents and their three children.
The killers slit the sleeping children’s throat, stabbed them in the heart, then stabbed the parents. Following the horrific slaughter, Palestinians in the Gaza strip handed out candy and pastries, celebrating their great triumph.
The Al-Qassam Brigades, a branch of Hamas, argued that the murder of Israeli settlers was permitted by international law. (Note the key rule they are playing by. They are allowed, I guess). A day later, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki, voiced doubt that the killers could have been Palestinian “The slaughter of people like this by Palestinians,’’ he claimed, “is unprecedented.’’
Really? Or does he get an F in history?
No F. He knows he is lying. Al-Malki merely employs the “swindling rule,” another tenet allowed under Palestinian’s constitution.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas went on Israel’s Channel 2 and condemned the massacre. He was a loveable peacemaker on Israeli TV, a charming idol among the Israeli left. He called it “a disgraceful act, inhuman and immoral.” The world, including left leaning Israelis were impressed. “Abbas is a partner for peace,” they concluded. How could Netanyahu claim otherwise?
Abbas never made it clear, never said it in Arabic to his own people. He did not try to stop the continuous incitement against Israel in the Palestinian towns.
On the contrary, he failed to cease his glorification campaign of Palestinian terrorists and child killers. In fact, he kept on idolizing them as heroes, role model martyrs.
What’s more, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad honored female terrorists, including a terrorist who placed a bomb in a bus station. His praise for those terrorists came only a few hours before a bomb was placed at a bus stop in Jerusalem killing one woman and injuring 50. Fayyad later condemned that attack in English.
There is plenty of evidence that incitement and brainwashing of the young, teaching hatred of Jews and of Israel, rewriting of history and falsifying truths constitutes a full-fledged industry within the Palestinian territories. The celebrations in Gaza in the wake of the latest massacre in Itamar merely serve to highlight that point.
When the Palestinian Authority talks about the two-state solution, they are saying that they want Israel to dismantle its West Bank security check-points. They want the West Bank cleansed of Jews.
They want more freedom of movement and ease in launching terror attacks on Israeli civilians. They dream of cooking the next phase — unifying the two-states under a single Islamic regime.
If you don’t believe it, go learn Arabic. Listen to what they say in their own language; find out what lies they teach their young. Understand their con game.