The confused musings of Marty Peretz on Samantha Power
Now that the election is over, will Barack Obama supporters in the media start scrutinizing him and his picks with anything less than adoration? Not if you read all the columns extolling his "brain trust" and "team of rivals" and not if you read an over the top column by The New Republic's Marty Peretz (a strong supporter of Barack Obama's) on Samantha Power, one of Barack Obama's close foreign policy advisers who was recently chosen for a spot in the State Department operations.
We have written quite a bit about Samantha Power as have Noah Pollak over at Commentary, Paul Mirengoff at Powerline, and others in the media. Now the Zionist Organization of America has stepped forward to express their concern regarding her views towards our ally, Israel. .
Marty Peretz objects:
And now I come to the ZOA's other victim of the day, Samantha Power. The New Republic carried many of her most searing articles from Bosnia. We co-published her book, A Problem from Hell, with Perseus Books. It won a Pulitzer Prize and probably was the most important book on genocide of the decade (save perhaps Saul Friedlander's Nazi Germany and the Jews and The Years of Extermination). Leon Wieseltier edited much of it and gave it its title. Samantha is a friend, a good friend, in fact. She has uttered some phrases about Israel that I did not like and that I thought were erroneous. We have quarreled over them. She reminds me, as I've told her and others, of Maud Gonne, the lover of W.B. Yeats and a fiery Irish nationalist. How can she not grasp deeply Jewish nationalism, its romance and its realities?
Has she made mistakes? Have I not made mistakes? The fact is that she truly, truly loves Israel and the people of Israel. They appeal to both her ecstatic imagination and to her understanding of the gravity of the world. To her defiance and to her discipline. If anybody thinks she is an enemy of Israel or even less than that, not a true friend, that anybody needs to know that love and affection always require questions. Adoration does not help Israel. It misleads it.
She may have called for the end of aid to Israel, she may have called for the imposition of a multinational force to "force" and "monitor" a "peace settlement" on Israel (which would crimp Israeli defense operations), she may vest untold confidence in the United Nations who have been so biased against Israel and have not fulfilled their responsibilities in Lebanon (and has betrayed Israel in the past). She may have castigated the New York Times for admitting there was no massacre at Jenin (a canard propagated by the same groups that Power supports).
She may have alluded darkly to groups in the US with financial power who are too influential in formulating American policy. She may have made derogatory comments about Israelis-as Israelis-in her recent book. She may have complained that criticism of Barack Obama came down to "what is good for the Jews."
But, nevertheless, according to The New Republic's Marty Peretz , "she truly, truly loves Israel and the people of Israel".
Uh-huh. Ms. Power sure shows a strange way to show her "love".
One statement or idea that is anti-Israel in tone and substance may be a "mistake" - with the emphasis on "may" and only if a mistake takes the form of a gaffe, a malapropism, or a misused word. When there is a pattern of conduct that occurs over a stretch of time in a variety of surroundings that differ in the details but can reasonably be perceived as being unfriendly towards Israel, I think it is a bit too charitable to describe these views as manifestations of the love that Peretz says Samantha Power feels towards Israel.
Will we continue to see a downward definition of what constitutes support for our endangered ally?