I give him the benefit of a doubt. He may not himself have made the decision to honor the contemptible Mary Robinson, arguably a real bigot, with the Medal of Freedom. But, then, there is someone in his entourage who is leading him astray, gravely astray. And that someone has it in for Israel and for American Jews, too. The fact is that there is only so much that can be explained

The Cairo oration was an exercise in piling up half-truths so that they wouldn't actually look like lies. I've written about this before: The convenient excising of Zionism from the history of Israel, the equation of the Holocaust with the nonsense about Islam in early American history, the deceit about the peace treaties that "ended" but really did not end the Barbary wars. Alright, President Obama wanted to score some points with the Arabs. He has made his points. But their responses, if anybody in power was being honest, would be described as kicks in the ass. Particularly as the president has been kicking the government of Israel in the ass quite regularly. OK, not just the president but his secretary of state, too.

Yesterday, Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to Washington, was called by Foggy Bottom and lectured about the eviction of two Arab families from Jerusalem houses which, the country's extremely liberal Supreme Court had ruled, were not really theirs. In the meantime, the Saudis have resoundingly said "no" to the president's solicitations of tiny "confidence building measures." And the two major segments of Fatah will imminently hold a convention in Bethlehem at which extremism is likely to win the day, if only to allow the movement to compete with Hamas. No reproach on either. The Arabs may well have reason to believe that they need not negotiate with Israel because the U.S. is already negotiating for them...or bullying for them.

In the real world bestowing the Medal of Freedom on Mary Robinson is only important as a symbol. Take a look at the Medal of Freedom winners. There are many mediocre men and women on the list. But, overall, you will brim with pride, as the clich