When radio host Don Imus crudely insulted the young African-American ladies on the Rutgers women’s basketball team, then-Senator Barack Obama called for Imus to be fired.
Obama complained, understandably, that Imus “didn’t just cross the line. He fed into some of the worst stereotypes that my two young daughters are having to deal with today in America….”
A year later, when Obama’s longstanding support for Rev. Jeremiah Wright finally surfaced, Imus noted: “Senator Obama was the first one to jump up and suggested that I be fired, which I didn’t have any problem with. And when the wheels came off with Rev. Wright, the first thing Senator Obama said was that we should put his remarks in context and also we should consider all the wonderful things that Rev. Wright had done throughout his life. That was a luxury that he was affording Reverend Wright and himself to get out of that mess, and something that he was unwilling to afford me – not that that would have been appropriate, by the way. But I thought that revealed a disturbing level of hypocrisy and a willingness to employ a double standard….”
It is also revealing that while candidate Obama boycotted Imus’s show, equating any appearance with “supporting” Imus’s comments, as president he recently greeted Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez affectionately and playfully and accepted an anti-American book, despite Chavez’s aid for international terrorism, persecution of Jewish citizens, expulsion of three prominent rabbis from the country, and repeated vows to help Iran destroy the U.S.
Obama also chose to renew diplomatic ties with Venezuela (broken by Chavez last September) the same week Chavez was praising Ahmadinejad’s electoral “victory” and pro-democracy demonstrators were being beaten and killed in Iran – a policy decision consistent with a pattern of treating enemies as friends and vice versa.
Now comes word that Obama is awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, whose repeated demonization of Jews makes Imus’s ugly comments look trivial by comparison, and who, unlike Imus, makes no apologies.
Tutu has implied a similarity between Israel and Nazi Germany, asking in one notorious speech, “Have [Jews] forgotten the collective punishment, the home demolitions in their own history, so soon?.…
The Zionist Organization of America detailed Tutu’s long history of hate speech when the archbishop was scheduled to deliver campus lectures in the U.S. in 2003. Among their findings: Tutu said Jews display “an arrogance” and “monopolize the Holocaust”; alleged without evidence that “to criticize [Israel] is to be immediately dubbed anti-Semitic”; called Zionism racism; promoted a boycott of the Jewish state; insisted on calling Israel Palestine; said “the Jewish people…have caused a refugee problem…”; and warned, “People are scared in this country [the U.S.] to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful – very powerful.”
Tutu has also scolded Holocaust victims for not forgiving the Nazis, though he himself sounded less than forgiving when he proclaimed, “The West can go to hell.”
Unlike many others on the radical left, Tutu condemns “Jews” directly, rather than using the code word “Zionists.” His sermon at a Boston church in 2002, sponsored by the Palestinian organization Sabeel, sounded like an ominous threat to all Jews, whom he urged not to forget “what happened to you in Egypt and much more recently in Germany. Remember, and act appropriately. If you reject your calling, you may survive for a long time, but you will find it is all corrosive inside, and one day you will implode.”
In attendance at Tutu’s Boston tirade, in which he spoke of “apartheid” in “the Holy Land,” was Simon Deng, a human rights activist who escaped his life as a slave in Sudan. Deng later replied to Tutu’s inaccuracies: “The State of Israel is not an apartheid state. I know because I write this from Jerusalem where I have seen Arab mothers peacefully strolling with their families, even though I also drove on Israeli roads protected by walls and fences from Arab bullets and stones. I know Arabs go to Israeli schools and get the best medical care in the world. I know they vote and have elected representatives to the Israeli parliament. I see street signs in Arabic – an official language here. None of this was true for blacks under apartheid.”