By awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to pro-violence and anti Israel Mary Robinson, the Obama Administration has found a way to not only continue to aggravate pro-Israel Jews and Christians, but has made perhaps an unintentional but seriously flawed declaration that the ways of violent protests of Yasir Arafat trumps the non violent path of Martin Luther King Jr. Besides the broad implications this may have for domestic politics and the dire consequences for Democrats to keep their majorities in congress come the next election cycle should they be viewed as anti-King, this immediately and negatively effects American influence in the Middle East. This can only lend further extremes to future Palestinian Leadership demands and complicate the impossibly difficult situation between Israel and the PA beyond repair. While I would applaud an end to the wrong minded Roadmap to Peace, it should not be done in this way.
First the reversal on Jerusalem. Next the heavy handed interference on the matter of internal Israeli infrastructure policy that was never explicitly forbidden and signed upon in the Roadmap. Now the Administration can be viewed as implicitly rubber stamping future PA sponsored violence against Israel, let alone whatever good intentions that may have been in play during this Robinson decision.
Will supporters of terror look at the President's unstated intentions or his explicit actions to justify their evil plans? If the President does not retract his decision entirely, which is the preferred option, then I would suggest that clarification should issue from the White House that support for any anti-King philosophy that Robinson may hold was not intended and is virulently rejected by this administration.
Three such faux pas in a row is not just a bad sign, it is a diplomatic disaster than needs some cleanup work to be done as soon as possible.
A couple years ago I wrote that there could be a lot of political Goodwill to be gained with Israel by granting freedom to Jonathan Pollard, and no significant political downside to releasing him. President Bush rejected this opportunity, but perhaps President Obama will not. Perhaps this can be the political life preserver that Democrats need to show they are not the Anti-Israel party of the United States of America. Come the next election cycle, the Democrats could spin that it wasn't a Republican President who had mercy on a man incarcerated for 24 years, it was a Democrat. Conversely, it could be that what may be remembered at the next election cycle will be instead that every year, month, week and day that passes with undeserving fools like Robinson getting awards, while the humanitarian plight of Pollard is ignored as he is left to rot in prison.
What will the President choose to do?