Daily Israel Report

Senate Confirms Power as UN Ambassador

More than 70 senators vote in favor of Samantha Power, who said in 2002 she would allocate aid to "Palestine" instead of Israel.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/2/2013, 3:15 AM

Samantha Power
Samantha Power
Reuters

The Senate voted on Thursday to confirm Samantha Power as President Barack Obama’s next ambassador to the United Nations.

Reuters reported that as voting continued, more than 70 of the 100 senators had voted in favor of Power.

She needed only 51 votes to win confirmation.

Power, 42, will replace Susan Rice who was appointed national security advisor. She has come under criticism for a number of remarks she made a decade ago, including speaking of "crimes committed" by the U.S. government.

She has also been criticized for past statements against Israel, including a 2002 interview in which she said that "external intervention" may be necessary to prevent "genocide" and "major human rights abuses" in the "Palestine/Israeli situation".

During that interview, Power responded to a hypothetical question and said that if given the opportunity she would advise the president to sacrifice billions of dollars of aid to the Jewish state, allocating the funds instead  to “the new state of Palestine.”

Two weeks ago she appeared to have done a complete 180, slamming the UN’s "unacceptable bias" against Israel and pledging to lobby hard to get Israel a seat on the Security Council in 2018.

Power said at that time that America enjoys a "special relationship" with Israel, whose "legitimacy should be beyond dispute, and its security must be beyond doubt."

She added, "Within this (UN) organization built in the wake of the Holocaust... we also see unacceptable bias and attacks against the state of Israel."

Last week, Power’s nomination received the approval of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Senator Marco Rubio, who was one of two lawmakers to vote against Power on the 18-member panel, said that she had “failed to distance herself” from her past statements “and offered insufficient explanation, leaving me with serious concerns about some of her views.”