I heard the news about Obama honoring Harvey Milk with the Medal of Freedom this morning on NPR updates, but nothing about the other honorees. But check out the later part of this short blurb to see who else will be honored. I’m guessing someone needs to get on Abe Foxman’s speed dial for this.
Also among the honorees are two figures who have been criticized by supporters of Israel, Mary Robinson and Bishop Desmond Tutu.
Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his work in South Africa against apartheid. In recent years, he has likened Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to apartheid and backed divestment from the Jewish state.
Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland, served as United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees during the 2001 Durban conference against racism, and was seen by Jewish leaders as not taking enough action to deter the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel actions at the conference She was also seen as a tough critic of Israel’s use of force against the Palestinians during her term in office.
[Note Mary Robinson’s honest important statement on Palestinian civilization being "destroyed" here.]