I hate to say it, but it should come as no surprise to anyone that the man who sat in the pews at Jeremiah Wright’s church for two decades would have imbibed some of the anti-Semitism that was preached from the pulpit. In this, President Barack Obama follows the lead of noted useful idiot and terrorist tool Jimmy Carter.
In less than eight months, Obama has proven himself to be an enemy of Israel. He has called on Israel to unilaterally halt settlements around Jerusalem – a construction halt that has not been required of Palestinians in the same area. He has shoveled tens of millions of dollars into Gaza to help rebuild that which Hamas’ own terror attacks had wrought. Obama and his left wing apologists contend that that money doesn’t go to Hamas, which runs Gaza, but directly to rebuilding efforts. Does anyone really believe that they can keep Hamas’ hands off that money once it gets there?
Finally, today, Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Mary Robinson, a notorious anti-Semite who was behind the Durban “anti-racism” conference that condemned Israel, and Israel alone in the world, for alleged racism.
Former ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton:
So vile was the conference’s draft declaration that Secretary of State Colin Powell correctly called it “a throwback to the days of ‘Zionism equals racism,’” referring to the infamous 1975 U.N. General Assembly resolution to that effect. President George W. Bush (whose father led the 1991 campaign that repealed the U.N.’s “Zionism is a form of racism” resolution) unhesitatingly agreed when Mr. Powell recommended the U.S. delegation leave the Durban conference rather than legitimize the outcome.
Ms. Robinson didn’t see it that way then, and she has shown no remorse since. In late 2002, she described Durban’s outcome as “remarkably good, including on the issues of the Middle East.”
Outrage over Durban reignited earlier this year when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did her best to get the United States to attend the successor conference (“Durban II”) to polish Mr. Obama’s “multilateralist” bona fides. Because the Durban II draft declaration reaffirmed Durban I’s hateful conclusions, even the Obama administration couldn’t swallow attending.
Durban is not the only reason Ms. Robinson should not receive the Medal of Freedom. Over the years she has actively opposed “the security or national interests of the United States,” one of the categories of eligibility for the Medal. Those in the administration who recommended her either ignored her anti-Israel history, or missed it entirely, as they either ignored or overlooked her hostility toward America’s role in promoting international peace and security. Or perhaps they share Ms. Robinson’s views.
One example, particularly significant today given the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, is Ms. Robinson’s strong opinions about the use of force. During the Clinton administration’s (and NATO’s) air campaign against Serbia because of its assault on Kosovo, for instance, she opined that “civilian casualties are human rights victims.” But her real objection was not to civilian casualties but to the bombing itself, saying “NATO remains the sole judge of what is or is not acceptable to bomb,” which she did not mean as a compliment.
In fact, Ms. Robinson wanted U.N. control over NATO’s actions: “It surely must be right for the Security Council . . . to have a say in whether a prolonged bombing campaign in which the bombers choose their target at will is consistent with the principle of legality under the Charter of the United Nations.” One wonders if this is also Mr. Obama’s view, given the enormous consequences for U.S. national security.
Here’s the widow of the late Tom Lantos, a congressman and Holocaust survivor:
Today Mary Robinson is being honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an award that my own husband received posthumously in 2008. While I am deeply disappointed by the decision to honor former Commissioner Robinson in this manner, I also feel that this provides a good opportunity to reflect on the failures of Durban. As Tom wrote, “One lesson of Durban is clear – strong, principled leadership from the United States and the United Nations is critical in order to prevent hostile forces within the international community from hijacking vital multilateral institutions.”
Earlier this year President Obama rightly decided that the United States would not send a delegation to the Durban Review Conference in Geneva, noting that conference organizers were determined to expressly endorse the unacceptable resolutions of the 2001 Durban Conference. That may not have been an easy decision for an administration committed to increased engagement, but it was an essential step. It is my hope that this decision and others like it will help to eventually restore the U.N. Human Rights Council as a force for promoting tolerance and human dignity.
And here’s a bit from Commentary magazine’s Jennifer Rubin:
Mary Robinson will get her award today and for a brief time enjoy the image of the president placing America’s highest honor around her neck. But the image of Obama, who unlike Robinson remains a highly relevant figure on the world stage, presenting that honor will linger on. Questions about his judgment and his sympathies and about his advisers’ competency will linger. What sort of administration honors this sort of person?
Whether one buys the incompetency theory, the tone-deaf theory (they knew about Durban but didn’t understand its toxic legacy in the Jewish community), the “one more finger in the eye of Israel” theory, or the “what’s not to like about Robinson?” theory (i.e., she’s a model of the pro-Palestinian, anti-West ideology that animates elements of the administration as well as some of the president’s own rhetoric), the decision to give her the Medal of Freedom now becomes a permanent blot on Obama’s record. And moreover, it has served perhaps to finally impress upon American Jews just how unsympathetic and insensitive he is to Israel.
One wonders what will occur when Israel finally decides it’s got to attack Iran to prevent them from getting the bomb. Will Obama support them? Condemn them? I think Israel realizes that the current administration is not its friend, for the first time in more than 50 years. When will American Jews realize that too?