Mary Robinson will get the United States Medal of Freedom today.
Ms. Robinson presided over the 2001 “”World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance,” in Durban, South Africa. Durban was an anti-Semitic hate fest, a grotesque and macabre exercise in linguistic word games in which anti-semites marched under the false banner of being merely anti-Israeli. The most atrocious dictators and human rights abusers were encouraged to use the mantel of the United Nations (not for the first time) as a battering ram against Israel, and indirectly, the United States. Whether Ms. Robinson intended it to be so or not, it happened on her watch.
Ms. Robinson’s excuse-making for the anti-Israeli elements in the world continued long after Durban. She became a prime example of the U.N. disease of singling out Israel for unique and unprecedented scrutiny and ridicule.
Ms. Robinson’s problematic behavior is well documented, and I recommend op-eds by John Bolton in The Wall Street Journal and Charles Lane in The Washington Post, and Marty Peretz’s essay at The New Republic.
Ms. Robinson’s background was so well known, that it is impossible to believe that her selection was a mere vetting problem. Ms. Robinson’s instinctive willingness to blame the West and excuse the East syncs very well with the Obama administration’s outlook on the world. Jennifer Rubin has it right:
The Robinson award is important because it tells us whom we are dealing with—in the White House. We already know about Robinson and the UN. The lesson to be learned is that Robinson is the role model, the ideal international citizen, whom the Obama team admires.
Unlike Barack Obama who goes out of his way to apologize for imagined American transgressions, Ms. Robinson refuses to apologize for the real transgression of Durban:
BUT ROBINSON, like other public figures confronted with past moral lapses, has chosen to attack her critics and refuses to admit any errors in judgment. In a recent interview with RTE Radio One in Ireland, she declared “There’s a lot of bullying by certain elements of the Jewish community…”
She repeated the term “bullies” in reference to those who disagree with her blind adoption of the Palestinian narrative, which starts the history of the conflict in 1967, and focuses only on the “occupation,” ignoring the Arab rejectionism that led to these events.
The awarding of the Medal of Freedom should be a day of pride and honor. Instead, today is a day of embarrassment, for the U.S.