Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Why Khalidi Matters

There's a big buzz online today surrounding Rashid Khalidi and the tape of Khalidi's dinner with Barack Obama.

So, what's the big deal?

Melanie Phillips has this:

Back in April, the LA Times ran this story reporting on the going-away party for Rashid Khalidi, Obama’s close friend, who justifies Palestinian violence against Israel and who was leaving for a job in New York. Khalidi is a deeply troubling individual, a former PLO operative and close friend of unreprentant former Weatherman terrorist William Ayers. As I have reported before, in 2000 Khalidi and his wife Mona held a fundraiser for Obama’s unsuccessful congressional bid. The next year, an Arab group whose board was headed by Mona Khalidi received a $40,000 grant from the Woods Fund of Chicago when Obama was on the fund’s board of directors. Obama has said that his many talks with the Khalidis 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.’
Okay, but note futher this section on Khalidi from Discover the Networks:

Khalidi's involvement with the Palestinian cause goes beyond mere support. News reports - including a 1982 dispatch from Thomas Friedman of the New York Times - suggest that he once served as Director of the Palestinian press agency, Wikalat al-Anba al-Filastinija. Khalidi's wife, Mona, was reportedly the agency's main English-language editor between 1976 and 1982. Khalidi so strongly identified with the aims of the PLO, which was designated as a terrorist group by the State Department during Khalidi's affiliation with it in the 1980s, that he repeatedly referred to himself as "we" when expounding on the PLO's agenda. Additional evidence of Khalidi's intimacy with the PLO can be seen in his involvement with the organization's so-called "guidance committee" in the early 1990s.

Khalidi's 1986 book, Under Siege: P.L.O. Decision-Making During the 1982 War, was dedicated to Yasser Arafat. Opening with a glowing tribute to anti-Israel fighters ("to those who gave their lives during the summer of 1982 … in defense of the cause of Palestine and the independence of Lebanon"), the book offered an airbrushed account of PLO-instigated violence against Israelis and Lebanese. By contrast, Syria's brutal occupation of Lebanon elicited no criticism from the author.
Now check out Scott Horton's description of Khalidi at Harper's:

Rashid Khalidi is an American academic of extraordinary ability and sharp insights. He is also deeply committed to stemming violence in the Middle East, promoting a culture that embraces human rights as a fundamental notion, and building democratic societies. In a sense, Khalidi’s formula for solving the Middle East crisis has not been radically different from George W. Bush’s: both believe in American values and approaches. However, whereas Bush believes these values can be introduced in the wake of bombs and at the barrel of a gun, Khalidi disagrees. He sees education and civic activism as the path to success, and he argues that pervasive military interventionism has historically undermined the Middle East and will continue to do so. Khalidi has also been one of the most articulate critics of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority—calling them repeatedly on their anti-democratic tendencies and their betrayals of their own principles. Khalidi is also a Palestinian American. There is no doubt in my mind that it is solely that last fact that informs McCarthy’s ignorant and malicious rants.
Horton's criticizing Andrew McCarthy's essay, "The L.A. Times Suppresses Obama’s Khalidi Bash Tape."

Horton is a perfect example of the views of those on the relativist-left toward American foreign policy, Israel, and Palestianian terrorism: Comfort and aid to the enemies of the United States is perfectly legitimate, especially when their friends wrap their hostility to the U.S. in quasi-legitmate theories of a post-colonial American-Israeli alliance to dominate the Middle East and oppress the refugees of the founding of the Jewish state.

We've had months of revelations on Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers, not to mention scandalous findings on Obama's ACORN ties and his traditional big-city machine politics.

It does not matter that these relationships are no longer active or just "acquantances." These are not peripheral issues or relationship. They go to the core of who Barack Obama is: Khalidi matters, as he's one more thread in the overall mesmerizingly obscure relationship of Barack Obama to the radical left.

At the going-away party for Khalidi, Obama is claimed to have said: "Israel has no God-given right to occupy Palestine" and "genocide against the Palestinian people by Israelis."

These are controversial statements, and the American public deserves the chance to hear the audio for themselves. It's one thing after another with
Obama and his radical pals, and the American public is going to have the biggest case of presidential buyer's remorese in American history if there hold their noses to pull the lever on November 4.