UN Ambassador Samantha Power told the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Monday that the spat over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on Tuesday would not affect relations between the two countries. The relationship, she says, “transcends politics, and always will.” She said that the partnership between the U.S. and Israel “should never be politicized,” even if there were debates about the best policy to deal with common threats.
Power added that she was “struck” by reports of differences between the U.S. and Israel over Iran, when there was a “foundational strategic agreement” on denying Iran a “nuclear weapon.” (She failed to mention that the previous position of the U.S., and the UN Security Council, had been to deny Iran any nuclear enrichment capacity whatsoever). She argued that President Barack Obama’s commitment to Israel’s security had been shown in his commitment to military assistance.
She added that the U.S. would defend its ally, though it preferred diplomacy to other methods. Power then moved on to the issue of global antisemitism, highlighting the work of the Obama administration to fight it. (She did not mention President Obama’s dismissal of the recent attack on a kosher supermarket as “random.”)
Power had begun her remarks by recalling the Jewish experience of the Holocaust, and how the topic of genocide had inspired her own interest in foreign affairs. She recalled her own first visit to Israel and her trip to the children’s memorial at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. Power’s remarks on these topics were aimed to some extent at establishing her credibility with the audience after a record of anti-Israel remarks and policy positions in the past.
Power also noted that Israel is treated unfairly at the UN, and promised that the U.S. would continue to fight anti-Israel resolutions: they “are biased, they are ugly, and the United States of America will not rest until they stop.”
However, she criticized Israeli policy towards the Palestinians: “Israeli settlement activity damages the prospects for peace.”
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
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