shows Barack Obama celebrating with a group of Palestinians who are openly hostile towards Israel. Barack Obama even gives a toast to a former PLO operative at this celebration. If the American public saw this side of Barack Obama he would never be elected president.
And yet the warm embrace Obama gave to Khalidi, and words like those at the professor’s going-away party, have left some Palestinian American leaders believing that Obama is more receptive to their viewpoint than he is willing to say.
Their belief is not drawn from Obama’s speeches or campaign literature, but from comments that some say Obama made in private and from his association with the Palestinian American community in his hometown of Chicago, including his presence at events where anger at Israeli and U.S. Middle East policy was freely expressed.
At Khalidi’s 2003 farewell party, for example, 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. …
One speaker likened “Zionist settlers on the West Bank” to Osama bin Laden, saying both had been “blinded by ideology.” …
Obama was quoted [elsewhere] saying that “nobody’s suffering more than the Palestinian people.” …
Among other community events, Obama in 1998 attended a speech by Edward Said, the late Columbia University professor and a leading intellectual in the Palestinian movement. According to a news account of the speech, Said called that day for a nonviolent campaign “against settlements, against Israeli apartheid.” …
A photo on the pro-Palestinian website the Electronic Intifada shows Obama and his wife, Michelle, engaged in conversation at the dinner table with Said, and later listening to Said’s keynote address. Obama had taken an English class from Said as an undergraduate at Columbia University. [What was he teaching? English as a second language?]
Ali Abunimah, a Palestinian rights activist in Chicago who helps run Electronic Intifada, said that he met Obama several times at Palestinian and Arab American community events. …
Abunimah, in a Times interview and on his website, said Obama seemed sympathetic to the Palestinian cause but more circumspect as he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004. At a dinner gathering that year, Abunimah said, Obama greeted him warmly and said privately that he needed to speak cautiously about the Middle East. …
While teaching at the University of Chicago, Khalidi and his wife lived in the Hyde Park neighborhood near the Obamas. The families became friends and dinner companions.
In 2000, the Khalidis held a fundraiser for Obama’s unsuccessful congressional bid. The next year, a social service group whose board was headed by Mona Khalidi received a $40,000 grant from a local charity, the Woods Fund of Chicago, when Obama served on the fund’s board of directors.
At Khalidi’s going-away party in 2003, the scholar lavished praise on Obama, telling the mostly Palestinian American crowd that the state senator deserved their help in winning a U.S. Senate seat. “You will not have a better senator under any circumstances,” Khalidi said.
The event was videotaped, and a copy of the tape was obtained by The Times.
Though Khalidi has seen little of Sen. Obama in recent years, Michelle Obama attended a party several months ago celebrating the marriage of the Khalidis’ daughter.
In interviews with The Times, Khalidi declined to discuss specifics of private talks over the years with Obama.
Of course he declined. Muslims understand perfectly the concept of taqiyya. Gateway Pundit quoted Obama:
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.”
Gateway Pundit also spoke with the LA Times reporter:
Wallston was one of the few mainstream media reporters to report on this radical Obama associate.
Wallston said that the article was written after he watched video taken at the Khalidi going away party. When I asked him about the video he said that as far as he was concerned he was through with the story.
I asked him if he was planning on releasing this video of Obama toasting the radical Khalidi at this Jew-bash. He told me he was not releasing the video. He also would not comment on his source for the video. Wallston also said he did not know if Khalidi’s good friend Bill Ayers was at the event or not.
To this day, that videotape remains suppressed by the LA Times. WHY?
Yesterday, however, the LA Times published photographs allegedly of our troops desecrating the bodies of suicide bombers (consider the irony). Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and the Obama administration claim to have begged the LA Times to refrain, for the sake of protecting our troops who remain in harm’s way. The LA Times published, anyway, although they coordinated with the White House (WH) to allow them time to prepare (or so they say. I can believe WH coordination; I’m not sure that I believe that these two-year-old photographs were sat on all this time, only to be released now, when Obama’s poll numbers are dropping and Obama wants to pull out of the Middle East even faster. As usual, it’s an anonymous source.)
The LA Times editors attempted to explain their decision. Editor Davan Maharaj said,
We considered this very carefully. At the end of the day, our job is to publish information that our readers need to make informed decisions.
Fair enough. And yet the hypocritical LA Times editors did not seem to understand what their job was in 2008, which was to publish that videotape, which readers and viewers among the American public NEEDED to see in order to make “informed decisions” about who would lead this country as Commander in Chief. Citizen petitions and the McCain campaign called for its release. It was not released.
Our job is to publish information that our readers need to make informed decisions.
What sort of decision is informed by showing those photos to the public? I can think of none, unless they’re talking about decision 2012.
After all this time and all the similar scandals like Abu Ghraib and Urinegate, there seems to be an enormous failure of leadership, going all the way to the top, because this keeps happening. In fact, maybe this is what the editor was hinting at, when he said,
The photographs were provided by a soldier in the unit “who was himself concerned that the photos reflected dysfunction in discipline and a breakdown in leadership that compromised the safety of the troops.
But somehow I doubt it, coming from the LA Times. How long did they have these photos? Why print them now?
Perhaps the conclusion We the People NEED to draw from these photographs is this:
TIME FOR NEW LEADERSHIP, BECAUSE THE FISH ROTS FROM THE HEAD DOWN.
It’s also time to renew our call for the LA Times to release that Rashid Khalidi videotape–in the interest of fairness, objectivity, and informed decisions in 2012.