White House Honors Harsh Critic of Israel with National Humanities Medal

On Wednesday, July 10, Barack Obama will honor twenty-four Americans with the 2012 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal. Among the honorees is a virulent critic of Israel, which certainly wouldn’t hinder Obama from offering such a person his highest praise. That honoree is playwright Tony Kushner, the creator of Angels in America, as well as the scripts for Steven Spielberg’s anti-Israel film Munich and Spielberg’s Lincoln.

How much does Kushner, who is gay and Jewish, hate Israel? Try these statements:

 [Israel was] founded in a program that, if you really want to be blunt about it, was ethnic cleansing, and that today is behaving abominably towards the Palestinian people.

I've never been a Zionist. I have a problem with the idea of a Jewish state. It would have been better if it never happened.

Ha'aretz reporter: … you are saying that the very creation of Israel as a Jewish state was not a good idea. Kushner: I think it was a mistake

How about blaming the very existence of Israel for the world’s problems. Try this:

The existence of the state of Israel, because of the terrible way that the Palestinian people have been treated, is now in great peril and the world is in peril as a consequence of it.

Or endangering the Jews of Israel while emboldening the terrorists who want to kill them:

The Israeli-built security wall should come down, the homeland for the Palestinians should be built up, with a strictly enforced peace, not enforced by the Israel Defense Forces, but by the United Nations.

Or simply repeating as vicious lie against Israel that was later exposed:

One hardly justifies suicide bombings by pointing out that there's also no "equivalence" between a dispossessed people resisting a thirty-six-year-old occupation and a massive military machine enforcing that repressive occupation, nor by noting that IDF attacks on civilians are themselves sometimes far less than careful or innocent. (Take the official policy of house demolitions, for example. Or Chris Hedges's report in Harper's magazine that he observed soldiers taunt Palestinian boys into throwing stones and then open fire.)

And a capper:

The biggest supporters of Israel are the most repulsive members of the Jewish community.

Meanwhile, the White House honors Kushner “for his contributions to American theater and film. Whether for the stage or the silver screen, his scripts have moved audiences worldwide, marrying humor to fury, history to fantasy, and the philosophical to the personal. “

But then, they’re returning the favor; Kushner already had his lips planted for Obama years ago, when he called him, “remarkable, an astonishing figure.”


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