US President Barack Obama’s UN nominee has vowed to fiercely back Israel and fight to help the regime win a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council.
Samantha Power made the pledge at her Wednesday confirmation hearing in the Senate. She is widely expected to replace US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice.
“The United States has no greater friend in the world than … Israel. We share security interests, we share core values, and we have a special relationship with Israel,” Power told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The longtime Obama confidante and the White House official even went on to attack the UN General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council for supporting Palestinian people and condemning Israeli violations of their rights.
“And just as I have done as President Obama’s UN adviser at the White House, I will stand up for Israel and work tirelessly to defend it,” she said.
Power promised to support Israel’s bid for a seat on the UN Security Council, where Tel Aviv – due to its poor relations with Middle Eastern countries – wants to be admitted as a representative of the Western Europe.
“I commit to you wholeheartedly to go on offense, as well as playing defense on the legitimation of Israel, and we’ll make every effort to secure greater integration of Israeli public servants in the UN system,” she said.
She also pledged to oppose any efforts by the Palestinians to seek greater recognition in world bodies.
On November 29, 2012, Palestinians won a UN General Assembly vote, which earned the status of non-member observer state for Palestine at the world body.
“We need to deter the Palestinians in any way we can,” Power stressed.
The 42-year-old’s remarks at the hearing are expected to have distanced her from previous unflattering comments about Tel Aviv, and many expect her to be easily confirmed by the Senate.
On one occasion, Power had confirmed “major human-rights abuses” against the Palestinians in 2002, and acknowledged that a US policy shift away from the support of Israel could mean angering the pro-Israel lobby.