That’s a list of blackballed White House names (formerly in Power’s case, would-be in Robinson’s). Who’s good enough for the lobby on Israel/Palestine? Jake Tapper just asked Robert Gibbs about Mary Robinson during the White House briefing, and Gibbs said Obama doesn’t have to agree with all her views. Still, we all wonder if he’s sending a signal by giving the Medal of Freedom to someone who has long advocated for Palestinian rights.
Here is a too-long piece in JTA with lots of Supporters of Israel bashing Mary Robinson for advocating for Palestinian human rights, and for her role in the U.N.’s Durban conference on racism in 2001. AIPAC just now issued a long statement against Robinson (news organizations saying it is unusual for AIPAC to do so), and says it is "deeply disappointed" in Obama. AIPAC quotes the late Tom Lantos, of course a Holocaust survivor, on Robinson:
she refused to reject the twisted notion that the wrong done to the Jews in the Holocaust was equivalent to the pain suffered by the Palestinians in the Middle East …Instead of condemning the attempt to usurp the conference, she legitimized it.
Myself, I’ve been to Gaza, and Israel’s savagery against the Palestinians certainly seems to come under the heading of "racism against indigenous peoples," as outlined by the UN. Why isn’t the lobby going after Desmond Tutu, another recipient of Obama’s honor, and a friend to the Palestinians?