“Senator Obama is minimizing his association with Rashid Khalidi…former member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization…”
Here’s the meat of the Obama-Khalidi story, as reported in the investigative piece by Sean Hannity, which is part of his “The Real Barack Obama” series:
Obama was asked recently in a forum with Jewish voters in Florida about his relationship with Palestinian activist Rashid Khalidi. Khalidi, an outspoken critic of the US policy in Israel, was an employee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization “at a time when that was a designated terrorist organization,” according to Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum.
Obama responded that he knew Khalidi because they both taught at the University of Chicago and Khalidi’s kids attended the same private “lab” school as Obama’s daughters. Obama stressed that Khalidi is “not one of my foreign policy advisers.”
Doesn’t this shrug-off ring a bell? Remember how Obama insisted that unrepentant terrorist William Ayres was just a “guy who lives in the neighborhood” and how he conveniently declared that “this isn’t the Tony Rezko I knew” as soon as Rezko was convicted on 16 counts of corruption?
Obama is lying about the extent of his relationship with Khalidi. The Woods Fund, which Obama co-chaired with Weather Underground pal Bill Ayres, approved grants totaling $70,000 in 2000-2001 to Khalidi’s organization, the Arab American Action Network. And in 2000, Khalidi held a fundraiser for Obama. In Pipes’ words:
“The financial relationship between Khalidi and Obama is important because it points to their relationship not just being social and intellectual but having a deeper base, that they are people who are working together towards the same end.”
As reported in an April L.A. Times article cited by Pipes entitled Allies of Palestinians see a friend in Barack Obama the Obamas hosted a “lavish farewell dinner” for Khalidi and his wife as they headed to Columbia University in 2003:
A special tribute came from Khalidi’s friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi’s wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.
His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been “consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases. . . . It’s for that reason that I’m hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation — a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid’s dinner table,” but around “this entire world.”
At Khalidi’s 2003 farewell party…a young Palestinian American recited a poem accusing the Israeli government of terrorism in its treatment of Palestinians and sharply criticizing U.S. support of Israel. If Palestinians cannot secure their own land, she said, “then you will never see a day of peace.”
In an opinion piece called Palestine: Liberation Deferred published in The Nation in May, Khalidi referred to the “Palestinian question” as a “running sore,” a characterization which Barack Obama channeled shortly thereafter in an interview with The Atlantic, in which he responded to a question about whether “Israel is a drag on America’s reputation overseas” by saying:
“No… But what I think is that this constant wound, that this constant sore, does infect all of our foreign policy.”
Back to that synagogue in South Florida….Obama with a straight face said:
“….he’s not one of my advisers, he’s not one of my foreign policy people…his kids went to the lab school where my kids go…”
Barack has some explaining to do to the Jewish community, and to all Americans concerned about what an Obama Administration’s Middle East policy would entail. The voters are entitled to some straight answers.