Monday, March 2, 2015
Power Tells AIPAC 'US Support of Israel Transcends Politics' -- US Ambassador to UN talks about Holocaust, 'ugly' attacks on modern Israel, and the ties between the Jewish state and United States.
Samantha Power, the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), addressed the AIPAC conference on Monday, where she spoke about the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in which Jews fought back against the genocidal Nazi war machine during the Holocaust, linking those events with the challenges Israel faces today.
Ambassador Power began by speaking about Jan Karsky, who infiltrated the Warsaw Ghetto and later a death camp to smuggle out information about the scope of the genocide.
Transferring to the creation of the modern Jewish state of Israel, she added "for generations Jews had dreamed of being a free nation in their own land, eretz Yisrael (the land of Israel)."
The Holocaust gave the dream "greater urgency," said Power, adding that it also was a great impetus for the creation of the UN.
"Of course the story about the creation of Israel...is about much more than the Holocaust," said Power, noting it is based on the yearning to return to Israel by Jews over thousands of years.
"Attacks on the legitimacy of Israel are biased and they are ugly, and the United States of America will not rest until they stop," she pledged.
"You may have heard of tension in the relations between the United States and Israel," Power, saying there is a difference between politics and policy, with the US support of Israel transcending politics. "This partnership never should be politicized, and it cannot and will not be tarnished or broken."
She spoke about the necessity of debating policy to reach joint goals, but criticized politicizing that process.
"The United States of America will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon period," Power emphasized, noting this is a shared goal with Israel and the foundation of the US's policy.
While touting diplomacy as a means to stop Iran's nuclear program, she noted America is prepared to take any steps to stopping a nuclear Iran, vowing "there will never be a sunset on America's commitment to Israel's security."
Reviewing the rising signs of anti-Semitism worldwide, including the lethal terror attacks in Paris and Copenhagen, she noted the rising tide of anti-Semitism not only threatens Jews but also the liberal nature of Europe.
Fighting anti-Israel bias at the UN
Power then noted on the UN resolution condemning Zionism as "racism," recalling how together with Canada and other nations the US has worked to hold conferences on anti-Semitism in the UN.
"When 18 biased resolutions were proposed against Israel at the UN Generallast September as they are every fall, we opposed every one of them," Power said, listing off various steps the US has taken at the UN to counter biased resolutions against Israel.
She added that at the UN Security Council the US has acted vigorously to oppose measures taken against Israel's ability to defend itself.
"We stand ready as we always have" to hold peace talks along the "two state solution" paradigm dividing Israel toa Palestinian state, said Power, noting such an agreement would require "brave leadership and tough decisions."
"Israeli settlement activity damages the prospects for peace," opined Power, adding that Palestinian Authority (PA) unilateral acts against Israel at the(ICC) also do not help.
Power said "it is a false choice to tell Israel it has to choose between peace on the one hand and security on the other," saying the UN must not prevent Israel with such a choice.
Speaking about why the US supports Israel, she said "we believe in the values of pluralism, freedom and democracy that (Israel) represents," adding that the Jewishthe right to be in their own nation. She added that Israel is engaged in numerous humanitarian operations worldwide to improve the world, another reason the US supports the Jewish state.
Instead offrom the UN given the bias against Israel, she called to fix the problems and work through the UN framework to achieve the goals of Israel and the US.
Israel throughout it's history has been forced to overcome challenges on its very right to exist, noted Power, stressing America's "national commitment" to Israel and saying that commitment should never be a partisan matter.