Samantha Power’s character reference likens Palestinians to Nazis, deserving defeat

Israel/Palestine
on 43 Comments

Shmuley Boteach is Samantha Power’s advocate on Israel. The religious fundamentalist Republican rabbi from New Jersey who regards the West Bank as the Jewish nation’s gift from God is vouching for Power to be ambassador to the U.N., even in the pages of the liberal Forward.

Well, here is Boteach explaining that Palestinians are defeated and deserve everything that has befallen them:

But for those interested in facts, the unfortunate suffering of the Palestinians is akin to the suffering of the Japanese or Germans during the Second World War. When you continually resort to violence, inflicting terror on your neighbors, you’re probably going to end up suffering yourself.

You’d think such disgraceful attitudes would merit distancing or even denunciation by the White House. You’d be wrong. During the last election season, a couple of days after Boteach wrote this piece criticizing Power and calling Jimmy Carter “one of those well-meaning ignoramuses whose view of morality is that whichever is the party without tanks and an air force must be the party who is just” and saying that Hamas was a “terrorist organization hell-bent on exterminating Israel,” Power called Boteach and gave him an audience in the White House:

Ms. Power got in touch with me and invited me to meet her in her White House office this past Thursday. The meeting was substantive and directly addressed the comments I quoted. She was personable, accessible, and exhibited a humility uncommon to those in positions of high authority and power. She seemed genuinely and deeply pained by the perception that she was not a friend of Israel.

In turn, Boteach introduced her to other experts on the conflict, with whom she deployed her considerable rhetorical powers:

About a month later Samantha arrived to address a closed-door meeting of about 40 American Jewish leaders who represented a wide spectrum of our communities most important organizations…. [S]he directly addressed the accusations that she harbored animus toward Israel. And in the presence of the leaders of our community, she suddenly became deeply emotional and struggled to complete her presentation as she expressed how deeply such accusations had affected her. Tears streamed down her cheeks and I think it fair to say that there was noone in the room who wasn’t deeply moved by this incredible display of pain and emotion…

Later that day I took Samantha to meet my friend and hero Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel, only to discover they already had a long friendship and that Professor Wiesel was a strong admirer of Samantha’s work.

This is not about Samantha Power– Cory Booker loves Boteach too. It’s about the lobby. Power has no choice but to cozy up to this intolerant religious figure because the Israel lobby is so influential over policymaking in this realm. Imagine Obama’s nominee to be secretary of Health and Human Services having to gain support from a Republican evangelical minister who opposes abortion. That would never happen, the media would be all over it.

The Democratic Party has made a clean break between religion and state on such matters. It has utterly failed to make that division in the Israel situation because of religious influence.

Thanks to Scott Roth.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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43 Responses

  1. seafoid
    June 19, 2013, 12:37 pm

    Meanwhile Foxman gives Alice Walker 2 barrels of the usual lobby slurs

    link to israelnationalnews.com

    “Alice Walker has sunk to new lows with essays that remove the gloss of her anti-Israel activism to reveal someone who is unabashedly infected with anti-Semitism,” Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said in a statement. “She has taken her extreme and hostile views to a shocking new level, revealing the depth of her hatred of Jews and Israel to a degree that we have not witnessed before.

  2. seafoid
    June 19, 2013, 12:39 pm

    Does Power buy the bot notion that the Jewish presence in Palestine ended in Ad 70 ?

    link to nybooks.com

    “The separation is less prominent in the Jewish rabbinic tradition, but polemic against the New Testament’s account of Jesus appears overtly in the Babylonian Talmud, written between the third and fifth centuries. This seems to have provided the background for a viciously anti-Christian narrative in the medieval biography of Jesus known as Toledot Yeshu. Peter Schäfer, the author of Jesus in the Talmud, has asked why the Babylonian Talmud, which is a product of Sassanian Persia, should have included strongly negative comments on Jesus—particularly his virgin birth and his resurrection, both of which are mocked and satirized, whereas there is nothing comparable in the Palestinian Talmud.4 The relatively peaceful coexistence of the rabbis in Galilee and the neighboring Christian communities in late antiquity seems to provide the answer.
    By contrast, the conditions in Zoroastrian Persia were considerably more unstable for Jews and Christians alike and, Schäfer suggests, may have led to a greater hostility between them:
    Jews and Christians are, together with the other heresies, on an equal footing as far as the chief magian’s wrath [i.e., the wrath of the chief Zoroastrian priest or magus] is concerned, with no difference whatsoever.
    But, Schäfer continues, “the Christians were much worse off than the Jews” because Persia’s great rival, the Byzantine Empire, was a Christian state, and this put all Sassanian Christians at risk. Outside Persia the Sassanians often supported Jews as a means of countering Byzantine influence, and that is why the Jews welcomed them when they captured Jerusalem in 614.”

    • lysias
      June 19, 2013, 3:59 pm

      Most of the Christians under Sassanian rule were Nestorian heretics, were they not? How did the Sassanian government regard the Nestorians? (The Roman government, once it became Christian, was, if anything, more hostile to Christian heretics than it was to non-Christians. I don’t know how the monophysite Christians who predominated in Syria and Egypt regarded the Sassanian invasion circa 614, but I know they did not oppose the Arab conquest later in the century. As a matter of fact, the Jews in Palestine also welcomed the Arab conquest. They seem to have regarded the Muslim Arabs as very much akin to Jews. I suspect that is a lot of the reason why many of the Palestinian Jews converted so quickly to Islam.)

  3. MRW
    June 19, 2013, 1:00 pm

    jeezuss, this is revolting.

    • miriam6
      June 19, 2013, 7:27 pm

      Samantha Power’s character reference likens Palestinians to Germans and Japanese during WW2

      You’d think such disgraceful attitudes would merit distancing or even denunciation by the White House.

      If comparing the Palestinians to Nazi’s is seen as lazy and offensive , not to mention ahistorical then why is it acceptable to compare Israel to Nazi Germany?

      Lysias says@:
      As a matter of fact, the Jews in Palestine also welcomed the Arab conquest. They seem to have regarded the Muslim Arabs as very much akin to Jews. I suspect that is a lot of the reason why many of the Palestinian Jews converted so quickly to Islam.)

      So I take it using your own logic you would accept that the Khazars Jews would have converted just as quickly to Islam also?

      For much the same reasons as Palestinian Jews.

      • miriam6
        June 19, 2013, 7:40 pm

        miriam6

        Could you moderate this latter comment posted at 7.27pm please rather than earlier one?

        I love blockquote!

      • Cliff
        June 20, 2013, 6:45 am

        Because Israel is a colonial settler State.

        And Palestinians are Israel and Zionism’s victims.

        Not the other way around. That is the power dynamic.

        Palestinians have the moral high ground because they are the indigenous population and the European invaders who raped, murdered, ethnically cleansed them are NOT.

        Israel’s still colonizing Palestinian land so its crimes are not a historical event. They are present-day.

        This is not part of the War on Terror. This is the Native Americans resisting Manifest Destiny.

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 20, 2013, 11:11 am

        “If comparing the Palestinians to Nazi’s is seen as lazy and offensive , not to mention ahistorical then why is it acceptable to compare Israel to Nazi Germany?”

        Because the israeli state does things which are objectively reminiscent of the Nazi state and the Palestinians don’t. If you don’t want to be called evil, don’t do evil things.

      • miriam6
        June 22, 2013, 10:47 am

        Tanaka

        I suppose you ( and cliffy ) are young(ish)

        You both certainly seem to understand complex political conflicts only in terms of a childlike simple-minded morality plays.

        You see the world as a fight between GOOD V EVIL , COWBOYS AND INDIANS.

        Nobody with any sense would compare Israel to Nazi Germany

        You are simply using the Nazi tag to demonise Israel.

        It only serves to trivialise the crimes of Nazi Germany and obscure the resolution to Israel/Palestine conflict rather than illuminate it.

      • Citizen
        June 24, 2013, 10:11 am

        @ miriam6
        I think noticing the similarities of Israel to Nazi Germany, and Jim Crow South, and Apartheid S Africa are the result of a rational and analytical mind.
        The analogy is not “on all four legs” in each of these cases. But there’s lots of food for thought there too. Your “nobody with any sense” characterization of anyone who make such comparisons is as over-the-top irrational as one who would totally conflate Israel with Nazi Germany. It’s also important to note that Israel has done all its done since the Nuremberg Trials and its Geneva progeny.

  4. doug
    June 19, 2013, 1:21 pm

    Why do I get the impression that politically influential Jews are paranoid that politicians aren’t really as big supporters of Israel as they say? Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean you are wrong.

  5. Little_Shih_Tzu
    June 19, 2013, 1:46 pm

    Umm, file this under the Total Lack Of Self-Awareness file:

    “When you continually resort to violence, inflicting terror on your neighbors, you’re probably going to end up suffering yourself.”

    Oh, you don’t say, do you Shmuley?

    I don’t konow if Rabbi avi weiss is still alive, but Rabbi boteach bids fair to be the next uber-obnoxious iteration of Rabbi Weiss.

  6. eljay
    June 19, 2013, 2:00 pm

    >> But for those interested in facts, the unfortunate suffering of the Palestinians is akin to the suffering of the Japanese or Germans during the Second World War. When you continually resort to violence, inflicting terror on your neighbors, you’re probably going to end up suffering yourself.

    Well, it’s good to know that should “Jewish State” collapse and some (many? most?) Jews suffer as a result, Mr. Boteach will be able to soothe their souls with a dispassionate explanation that their suffering is the result of the continual violence and terrorism inflicted on the Palestinians for decades by Zio-supremacists and the “Jewish State”.

    • Woody Tanaka
      June 19, 2013, 2:53 pm

      It’s amazing to me that someone who makes such an immoral statement could be considered a religious leader. Disgusting. He probably has no conception of the fact that many Japanese and German civilians were victims of war crimes which, in any just world, would have sent as many USian, UKian, and USSRian military and civilian leaders to the gallows as German and Japanese leaders.

      Mr. Boteach’s morality is the morality of the fascist: might makes right.

  7. Cliff
    June 19, 2013, 3:14 pm

    What a disgusting person and analogy.

    The Palestinians are under colonial oppression.

    The best analogy is the Native Americans under Manifest Destiny.

    We sympathize with the Native Americans when we look back and see how all those treaties and ceasefires were worthless and deceptive. The Pilgrims swallowed up all the land belonging to the indigenous peoples of the land.

    Zionism is no different. Worse in some respects when we consider that Zionism is happening now, in the present when we should be more enlightened.

    • Citizen
      June 24, 2013, 10:17 am

      Yes, WW1 led to WW2, which led to the Nuremberg and Toyko Trials, and the international law prescribed there, even if de facto, and their Geneva progeny. Israel alone flagrantly violates the principles of human governance and the limits of state soverignty which were paid for by all the deaths, maimings, and destruction made during the world’s two world wars. That Israel is allowed to do what it’s been doing since 1945 is obscene.

  8. MHughes976
    June 19, 2013, 3:59 pm

    Well, I think it’s fundamental to Zionism to think that the Palestinians do not share the Jewish birthright in Palestine and that any attempt on their part to assert that they do have and always have had any such right is aggression and attempted usurpation.

    • James Canning
      June 19, 2013, 7:30 pm

      MHughes976 – – Fundamental to “Zionism” of the expansionist type. Many Israelis favor getting out of the West Bank.

      • MHughes976
        June 20, 2013, 12:00 pm

        Well, we can all define words in any consistent way we wish and you’re entitled to say ‘Expansionist Zionism’ where I would just say ‘Zionism’ when referring to the idea of a unique Jewish birthright to Palestine. But if you wish to define ‘Zionism’ as belief in a Jewish State founded on Jewish-Palestinian equality of birthright I might demur, thinking it was not consistent: how can an X-ish State be justified by any belief in which the rights of non-Xs are not inferior to those of X-ish origin?

      • James Canning
        June 23, 2013, 6:10 pm

        MHughes – – Many people who would prefer that Israel had never come to exisst, favor the 2002 Saudi peace plan. Are they “Zionists” even if they hate Israel? But want a deal so life for Palestinians can become normal? (Or, at least better signfiicantly for those in WB and Gaza).

  9. Ecru
    June 19, 2013, 3:59 pm

    So in the rabbis bizarro world (and don’t congregations CHOOSE their rabbi?) the victims of the goose-stepping Judenreich are the Nazis? Nope Boteach it’s the other way round. Here’s the unpleasant fact – to Zionist Jews, and their supporters/those who do not stand up to them, it’s perfectly OK to be a Nazi – just as long as you’re not targeting Jews.

  10. giladg
    June 19, 2013, 4:12 pm

    The Irish take pride in being counted amongst the biggest basher’s of Israel and Jews. They make the Mondoweiss faithful look like freshmen with water behind their ears. You can rest assured Philip, Samantha’s Irish DNA has not gone anywhere.
    What is going on there in Ireland? Is it the water, the whiskey the isolation?

    • Ecru
      June 19, 2013, 5:00 pm

      In our DNA is it? Genetic?

      Tell me would this be like spite, malice, greed and arrogance are in the Jewish DNA? Oh I’m sorry – is that “anti-semitic” of me? My well you’ll just have to forgive me, after all if it’s in my genes I can hardly be held accountable for it now can I?

      No you offensive and bigoted little trollop we’ve just been in the Palestinians situation for a few hundred years so know what it’s like when some jackbooted thugs steal our lands and try to wipe us out. Funnily enough it’s not bred in us a great deal of sympathy for said jackbooted thugs or their sympathisers. Y’know – Jews like you and ones from the Judenreich.

    • Donald
      June 19, 2013, 5:08 pm

      Wow, really giladg? So the Irish have something in their DNA that makes them anti-semitic? That’s what you’re saying, isn’t it? Don’t be coy–“take pride in being counted among the biggest bashers of Israel and Jews” just means they are anti-semites, doesn’t it?

      Any other sweeping characterizations about entire ethnicities you’d care to make?

      • tree
        June 19, 2013, 5:23 pm

        It’s become apparent these days that something like nine times out of ten, when you hear someone call other people “anti-semites” its simply a reflection of his or her own bigotry speaking. And its ten times out of ten when that person refers to an entire ethnicity/race/ or religion with the same slur.

      • tree
        June 19, 2013, 5:30 pm

        Oh, and giladg-

        The American term is “wet behind the ears”, not “water behind the ears”. It refers to newborn animals being wet with amniotic fluid, which dries last behind the ears. The idiom has nothing to do with water.

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 19, 2013, 5:29 pm

        “So the Irish have something in their DNA that makes them anti-semitic? That’s what you’re saying, isn’t it?”

        Yes. Giladg is making the exact same kind of statement about Irish people as the Nazis made about the Jews. The only question is whether this little Nazi will be banned or not.

    • Woody Tanaka
      June 19, 2013, 5:24 pm

      Irish DNA??? You are a little Nazi, aren’t you.

      And, for the record, the Irish have had centuries of experience being oppressed by a foreign state that they recognize the type of horseshit excuses that israelis and their supporters shovel to justify the evil acts taken by the Palestinians.

    • MRW
      June 19, 2013, 8:06 pm

      “Is it the water, the whiskey the isolation?”

      Probably the education. After all, they have Trinity College as their oldest university.

    • Citizen
      June 24, 2013, 10:28 am

      @ giladg

      Gee, I’m 62.5% Irish, according to my family tree. So my DNA is 62.5% big basher of “Israel and Jews”? Is that why I married a Jew? And that I hate my own son, who is Jewish, according to Jewish tradition, because he came out of his mother, who is Jewish? Who’d of thunk it. Mmmmm, so does that mean I hate all Jews, or just some Jews? Does that mean I hate all Israelis, or just some Israelis? Or am I obsessed with a hatred of the state of Israel as it defines itself, or as defined by how it conducts itself? Tell me more. I’m attracted to your point of view.

  11. LanceThruster
    June 19, 2013, 4:31 pm

    It’s like watching someone succumb to the Stockholm Syndrome.

    [sigh]

    • Woody Tanaka
      June 19, 2013, 5:25 pm

      “It’s like watching someone succumb to the Stockholm Syndrome.”

      To me, it’s more like watching someone volunteer to degrade themselves in order to win $100 or a new car.

      • LanceThruster
        June 19, 2013, 6:18 pm

        I think your take is probably more accurate. She was pressured to be sure, but chose her adjusted path based on the rewards she intends to reap.

  12. Donald
    June 19, 2013, 5:01 pm

    “You’d think such disgraceful attitudes would merit distancing or even denunciation by the White House. ”

    Maybe if you lived in some sort of fantasy world where the US government and the MSM are morally consistent on human rights issues. But not if you pay attention to the real world. I suppose you were just employing a rhetorical trope.

    “This is not about Samantha Power– Cory Booker loves Boteach too. It’s about the lobby. Power has no choice but to cozy up to this intolerant religious figure because the Israel lobby is so influential over policymaking in this realm. ”

    Why can’t it be about both? About both the Lobby and the sorts of people we have in government? The system that only accepts people willing to sell out?

    She has a choice–she could refuse to be a hypocrite and write about human rights issues from the point of view of someone who will never work for the government and doesn’t care–like Glenn Greenwald, for example–but she decided against that many years ago. You don’t write a book about the history of US foreign policy and genocide and ignore the sins of commission, where we actively sided with the bad guys, unless you want to be part of the foreign policy establishment you write about. Or unless you’re really stupid, but I don’t think she’s stupid.

    • Citizen
      June 24, 2013, 10:49 am

      @ Donald
      You are right. You don’t write a book about genocide and never even mention Israel.
      And she, like Hagel, did let slip her awareness of the power of the Israel Lobby. He called it the Jewish Lobby, if memory serves, and she just refered to it in the total abstract, never mentioning Israel or Jews. She’s married to a Jew, married in a Catholic Church in Ireland. Don’t know how they are raising their two kids, do you?
      She has a big ego, and likes power, prefering the power of being an influential actor in US policy, rather than a sideline commentator. Sort of like Bush Jr, although he had no choice–he had to be an actor, not a commentator, because he’s, well, not very bright.

  13. Citizen
    June 19, 2013, 6:29 pm

    Meanwhile, Dick and Jane have absolutely no clue that Israel is not a democracy in any sense of how they view democracy as US citizens. Americans don’t realize the stunted logic of Israeli citizenship: http://hahrp.blogspot.com
    Their politicians and mainstream media ignore this, and parrot hasbara.

  14. James Canning
    June 19, 2013, 7:28 pm

    Boteach thinks one should compare situation in West Bank today, with situation in Germany and Japan during Allied bombing in Second World War?

    Utter stupidity.

  15. yourstruly
    June 19, 2013, 8:19 pm

    ms. powers has it upside down, since it’s the jewish settlers* who are the nazis deserving of defeat, the palestinians their victims.

    *every jewish Israeli except for those who are in the struggle for justice in palestine

  16. kayq
    June 19, 2013, 9:08 pm

    “Palestinians are Nazis.” Yawn, won’t these pro-Israel people come up with new accusations?
    Been there, done that, yallah let’s move on.

  17. seafoid
    June 20, 2013, 3:48 am

    There’s a park beside a lake that I pass on the way to work. One spring I saw a female swan nesting and a few weeks later there were 2 cygnets. I followed their progress over the next while. On the lake there are the adult swans and there’s a group of them that hang out close to a bridge and stretch out their elegant necks in supplication for bread from the tourists who gather on the bank.
    I saw one of the cygnets, now a teenager , join the back of the group but he was too small to muscle his way to the front and get the bread.

    I don’t believe wet bread is suitable for the swan diet.

    Power reminds me of one of those birds fighting for lobby money.
    It’s not good for her either.

  18. Taxi
    June 20, 2013, 6:27 am

    Aaaawwh shucks, zionists are sooo sentimental (sniffle sniffle). NOT! They’re actually sadists who enjoy making women and children cry.

    And speaking of tears: boohoo I’m tearing up myself right now so I can get what I want from my bank manager.

    Don’t laugh folks, it really works, especially if your tears are political. Remember Hilary’s tears during her craven 2012 campaign?

    Samantha and Hilary really should have a joint weeping session – a few of those and they’ll be running the country – no problemo. Ah the cheap theater of it all!

  19. gingershot
    June 20, 2013, 8:46 am

    I wonder how much Samantha had to grovel around on the ground in front of Boteach until he told her he would be the ‘fixer’ for her

    I have pity for Samantha in some ways – can you imagine how much brainwashing she’s endured to become such a true believer-parrot?

    It’s funny to watch Boteach rush out to claim credit and power and enhanced credentials for the conversion of Samantha

    What a Dersh-wannabe

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