The chair of President Obama’s new Atrocities Prevention Board once called for the United States to force troops into Israeli-controlled territory in order to end abuses she said were being committed by both sides in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
National Security Council Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights Samantha Power, who chaired the first meeting of the board Monday following an appearance by President Obama at the Holocaust Museum, said in a 2002 interview that “external intervention” in the form of a “mammoth protection force” was necessary to separate the Israelis and the Palestinians. She acknowledged that forcing our way in was undemocratic but insisted it was necessary.
Unfortunately, imposition of a solution on unwilling parties is dreadful. I mean, It’s a terrible thing to do, it’s fundamentally undemocratic.
The new leader of Obama’s anti-genocide effort failed to refute a suggestion by the interviewer in 2002 that the Israelis themselves might commit genocide. The interviewer asked,
Let me give you a thought experiment here, and it is the following: without addressing the Palestine – Israel problem, let’s say you were an advisor to the President of the United States, how would in response to current events would you advise to put a structure in place to monitor that situation, lest if one party or another be looking like they might be moving toward genocide?
Instead of getting up and walking out on this “thought experiment,” Power responded by appearing to imply a moral equivalence between the Israelis and the Palestinians, who were than waging an Intifada against the Jewish state.
She spoke of “major human rights abuses” occurring in the conflict and quoted New York Times Columnist Tom Friedman’s use of the term “Sharafat” two describe then-leaders Yassir Arafat and Ariel Sharon, both of whom she said had been “dreadfully irresponsible” and were “destined to destroy the lives of their own people.”
Here is a segment of the interview.
Power, you’ll notice, spoke sarcastically of the influence of U.S. Jews, saying with a chuckle her proposal to force troops upon Israel “might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import.”
She also suggested the United States was wasting its money supporting the Israeli Defense Forces, which safeguards Israel against another genocide, sneering at the “billions of dollars” we spend “servicing Israel’s military.”
Power backs the goals of the “Responsibility to Protect” movement, or “RtoP,” which advocates international military intervention in countries where the most egregious human rights abuses are occurring. She was reportedly a key force behind President Obama’s decision to intervene in Libya.