Former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, President Joe Biden’s pick to be Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), faces opposition over her anti-Israel record, including fateful lame-duck vote in 2016 to abstain from a UN Security Council Resolution declaring the Israeli presence in Jerusalem illegal, allowing it to pass.
Traditionally, the U.S. had vetoed such resolutions. But on his way out the door, President Barack Obama — who had long sought to create distance between the U.S. and Israel, and to pressure Israel into concessions to the Palestinians — allowed anti-Israel forces to prevail.
In her speech explaining the administration’s vote, Power claimed that the administration was following established U.S. policy against Israeli settlements in the territories won during the 1967 war. But the text of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 went beyond U.S. policy, condemning the Jewish presence in the Old City of Jerusalem.
President-elect Trump opposed the Obama administration’s actions. Once in office, he went on to reaffirm the legitimacy of Israel’s presence in the Old City, and moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, defying the U.S. foreign policy establishment.
Power has also made a number of anti-Israel statements over the years, including a suggestion in 2002 that the U.S. support a peacekeeping force to protect the Palestinians, which she made while hinting at opposition from a “domestic constituency.”
The Zionist Organization of America, the country’s oldest pro-Israel organization, issued a statement Friday opposing Power, citing her “abominable, anti-American, anti-Israel, pro-Iran record,” noting that President Biden had elevated the USAID post to include a seat on the National Security Council (NSC), and that she would have influence on foreign policy there.
Power has been a controversial figure for years. She was booted off Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign for referring to then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Obama’s rival, as a “monster.” Renowned as a scholarly expert on genocide, Power presided over Obama’s “Atrocities Prevention Board” during the mass murder of civilians in Syria, and did nothing. In her UN post, she was caught up in the controversy over “unmasking” American citizens who were caught up in surveillance of foreigners — a practice that led to the leaking of the name of then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn to the media.
In the aftermath of 2016, Power emerged again as a vehement partisan, criticizing the Trump administration in vicious terms. Her shock and disappointment at Trump’s victory in 2016 was documented in the HBO documentary The Final Year.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new novel, Joubert Park, tells the story of a Jewish family in South Africa at the dawn of the apartheid era. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, recounts the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
This article was originally published in Breitbart.