The Anti-Defamation League has become the first Jewish organization to criticize the awarding of the Presidential Medal of Freedomn to Mary Robinson, calling it "ill-advised" and saying the former Irish president and UN Commission of Human Rights is "undeserving" of the honor. The organization specifically points to her term at the UN and her position as convenor of the Durban conference, and said she is not an "agent of change" — words the White House used to describe Robinson on Friday. Here’s the ADL statement:
Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, issued the following statement:
The awarding of the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom to Mary Robinson as an “agent of change” was ill-advised.
While Mary Robinson may have accomplishments to her credit, she also, unfortunately, has an animus towards Israel as evidenced by her tenure as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. As head of the international body that was consumed with anti-Israel bias, rather than be constructive and act objectively, she became its lead cheerleader by adopting the Palestinian narrative.
She issued distorted and detrimental reports on the conditions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and blamed Israel for the outbreak of Palestinian violence – the Second Intifada. As the convener of the 2001 U.N. World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, she allowed the process to be hijacked to promote the delegitimizing of Israel and pronouncements of hateful anti-Jewish canards, such as “Zionism is racism.” She failed miserably in her leadership role, opting to join the anti-Israel forces rather than temper them.
Ms. Robinson has been quoted as saying, “On the Palestinian side, they are the victims, etc. On the Israeli side, they feel they are the victims, in some measure (“Democracy Now”, Pacifica Radio, Feb. 25 ,2009). Because she has not moved away from her anti-Israel bias, she is not an “Agent of Change” and is undeserving of America’s highest civilian honor.