AIPAC and its allies are getting hysterical. On August 12th President Obama will award the Presidential Medal of Honor to Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland along with 15 other people. Robinson also served as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. In that capacity, she was critical of Israeli policies. In a statement released earlier this week, AIPAC wants President Obama 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". It has not done so, only saying that she may have said things they did not agree with, as probably many of the other recipeints, and will go ahead to award her this honor.
Leading this fight in Congress is Shelly Berkley of Nevada. Berkeley, a Democrat, was recently a a speaker at the extremist CUFI, an outfit founded by religious cultist John Hagee.
Its difficult to understand why AIPAC has chosen this battle. It seems that they made the calculation that it would be helpful in the long-run to lose this battle, but they may see it as a way to discredit Obama, as he continues to insist that Israel freeze the growth of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. A battle that Obama continues to wage, though appears that he is losing. This last week saw the forced eviction of Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem, a move that Obama had specifically opposed.