AIPAC raps Robinson pick for freedom medal


WASHINGTON (JTA) — AIPAC is ‘deeply disappointed’ by the Obama administration’s choice of Mary Robinson to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

"AIPAC respectfully calls on the administration to firmly, fully and publicly repudiate her views on Israel and her long public record of hostility and one-sided bias against the Jewish state," said the pro-Israel lobby in a relatively rare public statement.

As the United Nations high commissioner for human rights Robinson has been criticized by supporters of Israel for her role in the 2001 Durban anti-racism conference. She presided over the conference and was seen by Jewish groups as not doing enough to stop the expressions of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel hostility at the event.

"In addition to Robinson’s dishonorable role in the Durban debacle, her tenure on the UNHRC was deeply flawed, and her conduct marred by extreme, one-sided anti-Israel sentiment," AIPAC said. "Among the many outrages was a 2002 vote by the commission under her leadership that sought to condone Palestinian suicide bombings and terrorism as a legitimate means to establish Palestinian statehood."

Robinson, the first female president of Ireland, is one of 16 honorees scheduled to receive the award, the highest civilian honor in the United States, in a White House ceremony Aug. 12.

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