Middle East studies in the News
Obama Honors An Enemy Of Israel [incl. Rashid Khalidi]
by Richard Baehr
Barack Obama today announced that he is presenting the Medal of Freedom to Mary Robinson. So who is Mary Robinson? An enemy of Israel to begin, and the host and mastermind of the first Durban conference.
This is like sticking a fork in the eye of a supporter of Israel. But I am sure the Jewish left will think nothing of it. Each time I see a foreign policy decision of this administration -- on missile defense, disarmament, Israel, Honduras, on the Iranians crushing dissent to their fraudulent election, the question I now ask is this: If Hugo Chavez were the American President, would the action be any different?
Far more often than not, the answer is no. We now have Hugo Chavez running the foreign side, and Henry Waxman running the domestic agenda. Is this the change we can believe in? Our country is disappearing before our eyes, if they are open.
Update from Ed Lasky:
The bestowing of the Medal of Freedom on Mary Robinson is a travesty. Beyond that, it is a slap in the face to the pro-Israel community. Obama just met with the leaders of a collection of Jewish groups, ostensibly to quell their concerns about his approach towards Israel. Barely two weeks later, he gives an award to a person who has actively campaigned against Israel. Is this just a sign he couldn't care less about what those leaders think or feel?
Robinson is an ardent foe of Israel and was the Commissioner of the U.N Human Right Commission when it condoned suicide bombing by the Palestinians as a legitimate means to establish a Palestinian state. As Jennifer Rubin points out in her blog at Commentary Contentions, Robinson has a pattern of anti-Israel actions stretching across many years (and continents)
In the United States, she joined the faculty at Columbia University (Obama's alma mater) -- a campus that has become a center of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic behavior by faculty members. Among the faculty members is long-time anti-Israel activist Rashid Khalidi, who was a close friend of Obama's during his Chicago days, and whom Obama credited with teaching him about the Middle East. Did Khalidi suggest to Obama that Robinson be awarded the most prestigious non-military medal an American President can award someone?
Jennifer Rubin has an interesting observation. When Robinson headed the Human Rights Commission, James Tisch-the Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations-criticized her. The current Chairman of the Conference is Alan Solow-a supporter of Barack Obama's during the campaign. Will he choose to speak up or stay silent?
This is a disgraceful award, considering the list of previous recipients who have, for the most part, stellar records of public service in a wide variety of endeavors..
But this is the moral universe that God Obama lords over.
Further update from Ed Lasky:
Look who else won: Bishop Desmond Tutu; the man who compares Israel's treatment of the Palestinians to apartheid (gee..did he ever look at how Palestinians treat each other or how fellow Arabs have mistreated the Palestinians for decades?). So two of the sixteen hate Israel.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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