Middle East studies in the News
Reward: $50,000 for 'Khalidi Tape' of Obama at Anti-Israel Party
Big Peace (Blog of Breitbart.com)
Breitbart News hereby announces a $50,000 reward to whomever can provide the complete video recording of the 2003 farewell party for radical Palestinian academic and activist Rashid Khalidi, at which then-state senator Barack Obama spoke--and which the Los Angeles Times has refused to release sincereporting the event in April 2008.
Then-reporter Peter Wallsten (now with the Wall Street Journal) noted that the event was one of many signs that had encouraged Palestinian-Americans to believe "that Obama is more receptive to their viewpoint than he is willing to say." Wallsten explained:
Wallsten claimed that Obama's own remarks at the Khalidi farewell "adopted a different tone...and called for finding common ground."
However, there is no way to verify that claim, since the Los Angeles Times has refused to release the video recording, or a transcript thereof--ostensibly to honor an agreement with the source, whose identity has been the source of significant speculation since 2008.
In further attempts to locate the tape or determine its whereabouts, Breitbart News has contacted the Arab American Action Network (AAAN) in Chicago, which Khalidi founded and which Obama provided with money while serving on the board of the Woods Fund with Bill Ayers. However, a request for comment received no response, despite verbal assurances from AAAN that a response would be forthcoming.
Breitbart News also attempted to contact blogger and activist Ali Abunimah, who served on the board of AAAN at the time and wrote in early 2007 about his disappointment with then-U.S. Senator Obama's alleged abandonment of the Palestinian cause. No response was received.
The occasion for the farewell party was Khalidi's departure from the University of Chicago for Columbia University in New York. His provocative advocacy for the Palestinian cause had created controversy in Chicago, and would do so in New York as well. Obama's participation in a special event in Khalidi's honor reflected not only the friendship between their two families, but also the eagerness with which Obama attempted to win support from left-wing constituencies in advance of the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in 2004.
The $50,000 reward is contingent on Breitbart News being able to obtain independent authentication of the video recording, as well as verification that the video recording contains Obama's complete remarks at the event.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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