All our Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, is missing is a fiddle. For the duration of the seemingly endless Syrian civil war, she has figuratively fiddled while that country burns. Now, with one foot out the door from a tenure that has all but obliterated her once formidable reputation as an anti-genocide activist, she’s decided to kick Israel in the teeth.
What most amazes me about this past Friday’s anti-Israel resolution that was cooked up by Barack Obama, John Kerry, Susan Rice, and Power is not that it took place. We have long known that the quartet had this in the works, and my organization, The World Values Network, even took out a full page ad against the proposed UN resolution a few months back.
Rather, the truly shocking part is that the most senior members of the American foreign policy team were pushing this resolution through while Aleppo burned.
Just imagine — there is a genocide going on for years in the Middle East in general and Syria in particular. It involves ISIS targeting Yazidis and Christians for extermination, and, in Syria, Shia Muslims joining Alawites to exterminate Sunnis. This is the classic definition of genocide where an ethnic group is target for annihilation.
The genocide reaches fever pitch in December 2016, just as the Obama administration, which hasn’t lifted a finger to protect 500,000 Arabs from being slaughtered, is winding down. Aleppo is in the news daily, as the world watches the horrors of bombings of civilians amid incalculable loss of life.
And what was Samantha Power, the great anti-genocide campaigner, doing while Aleppo and its residents were being reduced to rubble? Why, scheming against Israel, of course!
Power should have resigned over Syria long ago. She decided instead to embrace the hypocrisy of having written a Pulitzer-prize winning book condemning previous American administrations who were bystanders to genocide, while becoming one herself.
That was bad enough. What we know now is far worse. She ignored Aleppo as she focused instead on the condemning the Jewish state.
Earth to Samantha: 500,000 Arabs died in Syria. Do you really think the problem in the Middle East is Jews building extra bedrooms in communities in Beit-El?
You couldn’t pass even one United Nations Security Council Resolution condemning Russia, Syria, and Iran for the slaughter in Syria. But you passed this motion condemning peace-loving Jews who live in the ancient Biblical lands of Judea and Samaria?
As someone who has dedicated much of his public life to fighting genocide, I was once honored to support Samantha’s nomination to the UN post, even while others were outraged, because she was one of the world’s foremost voices against mass murder. That was prior to entering the Obama administration, and adopting a policy of humiliating silence as Iran threatened genocide against Israel and actual genocides were carried out in parts of Africa and the Middle East.
Power holds her unique position for speaking truth to the world’s powers, but once in power herself, she held her tongue while people are being murdered every day in the Middle East and North Africa. Shiites and Sunnis kill each other on a daily basis throughout the Middle East while thousands die in Sudan, Nigeria, Libya and Yemen. Under Samantha’s watchful eye, hundreds of thousands of Syrians have died and become refugees.
Let’s not forget the carnage in Syria is largely a result of Obama’s disastrous foreign policy. When he precipitously pulled American troops out of Iraq, he created a vacuum that has been filled by Iran, ISIS, al-Qaeda and other radical Islamic groups. Rather than work to bring down the brutal Assad regime and support Syrians who reject his totalitarian rule and the proposed Sharia law of the Muslim extremists, Power stood by while Iran and its Hezbollah terrorist puppets rushed in to bolster the tottering Assad regime.
Given that Syria is Iran’s only ally in the region, removing Assad would have had the twin benefits of eliminating one of the region’s last dictators and leaving Iran without a friend in the region. Acting early on would have saved tens of thousands of lives. It also would have prevented the devastating immigration problem that threatens to bring down Jordan’s pro-American regime and seed Europe, and perhaps the United States, with radical Islamists trained by ISIS and al-Qaeda to infiltrate Western societies for the purpose of committing terror and mayhem.
By failing to act swiftly and surely, Obama also opened the door to Russian intervention. After keeping Russia contained in the region for more than 40 years, Obama’s inaction woke the sleeping bear and Vladimir Putin’s forces are now bombing civilian areas and doing everything possible to maintain their own foothold in the region. Putin has also extended his tentacles into nations that had been staunch U.S. allies before Obama turned on them.
Obama’s most devastating decision was his failure to follow up his 2012 threat to take action against Syria if Assad used chemical weapons. Instead, he patted himself on the back for a brilliant diplomatic coup (as he did with his disastrous nuclear deal with Iran) in reaching a deal with Russia to remove and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. Just as Iran has cheated on the nuclear deal while Obama and Power have buried their heads in the sand, Syria also ignored the toothless warnings of the president and kept enough weapons to continue to slaughter civilians and rebels alike.
But heck — at least Obama and Power finally socked it to Bibi and Israel. That’ll teach ‘em.
Then again, by this point no one should be surprised by Samantha’s cowardice in the face of slaughter. On the hundredth anniversary of the Armenian genocide, she could not bring herself to speak the truth, even after promising to do so during the presidential campaign. Taking the moral low ground, Power continued to repeat, robotically, the politically convenient and historically inaccurate line that Turkey did not wage a genocidal war against the Armenians.
Her silence about Syria’s genocide emboldened Assad, her tolerance of Iranian threats of genocide against the Jews encouraged Tehran, and her willingness to go along with Turkey’s rewriting of history has reassured the Turks that America will do nothing to stop the potential genocide directed at the Kurds.
Samantha could have followed the demands she made of members of earlier Administrations that were bystanders to genocide and resigned from this morally bankrupt administration long ago, and perhaps escaped with some semblance of her reputation intact. Alas, it is far too late now. As a former administration official, she will reap the financial benefits as a lecturer, pontificator and perhaps academic.
But no serious person will take Samantha Power seriously again when she speaks about human rights. Her conduct has disqualified her from any such discussion, unless it is to explain how someone can be a bystander to genocide.
Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi,” whom the Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” has just published “The Israel Warrior: Standing Up for the Jewish State from Campus to Street Corner.” Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.