ZOA Opposes Appointment of Anti-Israel Samantha Power to Head New Atrocities Prevention Board
April 27, 2012

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has opposed the appointment of Samantha Power, a government adviser who has made hostile and baseless anti-Israel statements, heading the newly created Atrocities Prevention Board (APB). The APB is intended to “coordinate action across the entire government on stopping genocide and liaise with the NGO community.” But Power, who worked on President Obama’s 2008 election campaign before being fired for calling Hillary Clinton “a monster,” has exhibited gross hostility to Israel and a warped conception of what constitutes genocide.

In an April 2002 question and answer session with the University of California-Berkeley Institute of International Studies, when asked what the U.S. should do if either Israelis or Palestinians were “moving towards genocide” in their conflict, Ms. Power replied as if Israel were committing genocide – “What we need is a willingness to actually put something on the line in sort of helping the situation. And putting something on the line might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import … It may more crucially mean 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.”

In short, Ms. Power repeated the classic anti-Semitic canard that the U.S. supports Israel against morality and self-interest because of Jewish voting power, rather than because Israel enjoys the overwhelming support of the American people. Ms. Power also accused Israel of “major human rights abuses.” She also has advocated the ending of all aid to Israel and redirecting it to the Palestinians. Ms. Power also complained that criticism of Barack Obama all too often came down to what was “good for the Jews.”

Also, in February 2008, Ms. Power expressed annoyance that the New York Times had admitted there was no 2002 massacre of Palestinians by Israel in Jenin.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “It is abundantly clear that a person holding such vicious and completely fictitious views about Israel makes a deeply worrying choice to head a new body dedicated to ending atrocities and genocide. Ms. Power shows not only hostility to Israel but lack of judgment in her apparent belief that Israel could well seek to commit genocide.

“This is important, given the propensity for pro-Palestinian radical groups to seek to delegitimize Israel by claiming it commits genocide and other war crimes and their efforts to use government and international mechanisms to harm Israel. Undoubtedly, these groups will seek to gain the attention of the new APB to be headed by Power. Given Power’s past statements, one can surely imagine the real possibility that she could endorse the most outrageous and false claims about Israel that could come her way.

“We urge the Obama Administration to rescind Samantha Power’s appointment.”

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