Philip Weiss on Samantha Power

Samantha Power’s nomination as UN Ambassador is not going over well with some in the Israel Lobby. The JTA reports that the hardline Zionist Organization of America is opposed to her. As a neophyte in championing human rights, Power made the mistake of applying the logic of intervention on behalf of human rights to Israel. In response to a question of “what she would do if ‘one party or another” seemed ready to commit genocide. At the time [2002], Israelis and Palestinians were mired in the second intifada.”

“It seems to me at this stage, and this is true of actual genocides as well and not just major human rights abuses which we’re seeing there, you have to go in as if you’re serious, you have to put something on the line,” she said. That meant taking the billions of dollars “serving Israel’s military” and investing it instead in the state of Palestine and a “mammoth protection force.” Power also noted that taking such a step “might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import.”

What?? Jews have power? And they use it to compromise the rights of the Palestinians? And you’re suggesting funding a military force to protect the Palestinians from the Israelis? Perish the thought.

But not to worry. Philip Weiss’s summary of Power’s relationship with the Israel Lobby shows that there the Lobby need not be concerned. Most tellingly, he quotes pro-Israel fanatic Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on Power:

Typical of her erudition and brilliance, Samantha presented a sweeping view of American policy in the world’s most dangerous region. Then, she directly addressed the accusations that she harbored animus toward Israel. And in the presence of the leaders of our community, she suddenly became deeply emotional and struggled to complete her presentation as she expressed how deeply such accusations had affected her. Tears streamed down her cheeks and I think it fair to say that there was noone in the room who wasn’t deeply moved by this incredible display of pain and emotion. More than a few of the leaders of the room came over to me afterward and said that, based on her comments and her unabashed display of emotional attachment to the security of the Jewish people (it bears mentioning that Samantha’s husband is also Jewish), they would never again question her commitment to Israel’s security.

Power strikes me as a typical careerist who, despite her earlier spasm of moral consistency, realized that the way to fame and fortune was to make Jewish connections and completely ignore what in 2002 she labeled Israel’s “major human rights abuses.” As Weiss notes, all of the people who promoted the publication of her book on American responses to genocide, A Problem from Hell, are Jews (including Israeli patriots Leon Wieseltier and Martin Peretz). This fact, plus the fact that it didn’t mention Israel,  doubtless aided the reviews and greased the path to the Pulitzer and a Harvard professorship.

Power eventually went all in and married a Jew, Harvard professor Cass Sunstein. She is living in a Jewish world. Even Alan Dershowitz endorses her for UN Amabassador, so we have to assume that she definitely won’t do anything to offend the lobby.

People like Samantha Power are very valuable for the Jewish networks that groomed her for this position. Because they are a small, often mistrusted minority, they cannot expect to always be the public face of particular policy positions. Its well known that Jewish radicals actively recruited non-Jews to be the public face of leftist movements in mid-century America and elsewhere (see link below). A talented non-Jew like Power who is nevertheless intimately enmeshed in Jewish networks is a great asset, especially in an area such as human rights which is a touchstone of Jewish public posturing. Power will ensure that the rhetoric of human rights and anti-genocide will have one important exception so obvious that it need not be named.

Marriage to a Jew has always been regarded as a sure sign that a non-Jew can be trusted. For example, in the USSR in the 1920s:

In addition to the very large overrepresentation of Jews at these levels, there were “a plethora of Jewish wives” among the non-Jewish leaders (p. 49), which must have heightened the Jewish atmosphere of the top levels of the government, given that everyone, especially Stalin, appears to have been quite conscious of ethnicity. … For their part, anti-Semites accused Jews of having “implanted those of their own category as wives and husbands for influential figures and officials” (in Kostyrchenko 1995, 272; italics in text). This point fits well with [Albert] Lindemann’s description [in Esau’s Tears] of gentile Bolsheviks as “jewified non-Jews.” (From Chapter 3 of The Culture of Critique, “Jews and the Left,” p. 95)

Samantha Power has excellent career prospects indeed.