In the past, I’ve noted Obama’s troubling statements on Israel and his ties to a number of Israel haters, so it should come as no surprise that the LA Times reports today that the Palestinian activist community sees an ally in Obama.
Much of the article focuses on Obama’s cozy relationship with anti-Israel Columbia professor Rashid Khalidi, who is so radical that he once served as a flak for the PLO.
In 2003, when a going away party was thrown for Khalidi before he left Chicago for New York, Obama not only attended, but paid tribute:
Well, what exactly is that conversation that Obama thinks is so necessary to have around the world? Does the rest of the world need to have a discussion about Khalidi’s contention that Israel is an “apartheid system in creation” and a “racist state”?
The Times also cites Ali Abunimah, a Palestinian activist in Chicago who has insisted that during the 1990s Obama campaigned in the Arab community and openly called for America to take a more “even handed” approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Abunimah also recalls Obama giving him private assurances that he would be more outspoken about the Palestinian cause once a tough primary he was in was over. Abunimah also posted a photo of Obama breaking bread with leading anti-Israel intellectual Edward Said at an Arab community dinner in 1998.
Obama strategist David Axelrod, in the article is quoted as saying, “In no way did he take a position privately that he hasn’t taken publicly and consistently…He always had expressed solicitude for the Palestinian people, who have been ill-served and have suffered greatly from the refusal of their leaders to renounce violence and recognize Israel’s right to exist.”
But are we really to believe that when Obama was dining with the likes of Said and Khalidi, that he was lamenting the failures of the Palestinian leadership? I mean, did he privately say things like: “Rashid, thank you for opening me up to my blind spots about where to get a good plate of buffalo wings and for alerting me to my own biases against the Cubs, but if only Palestinian leaders renounce violence and recognize Israel’s right to exist, we’d have a chance for peace in the Middle East.”
If this were an isolated example, it would be one thing. But we now have a clear pattern from Jeremiah Wright’s comments on down, of Obama associating with individuals who are virulently anti-American and anti-Israel. When pressed, he denies that he shares any of the same views either by himself or through surrogates. I don’t see how much longer people can find him remotely credible. I know I’m getting really sick of it. And I am not a knee-jerk Obama hater.