Middle East studies in the News
'The Heels Are On, the Gloves Are Off' [incl. Rashid Khalidi]
by Connie Hair
As a campaign staffer observed at Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin's speech at a rally in Carson, Nev. over the weekend, "The heels are on, the gloves are off." Gov. Sarah Palin for the first time talked about Barack Obama's friendship with Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers. In her speech, Palin said, "Evidently there's been a lot of interest in what I read lately. I was reading today a copy of the New York Times. And I was really interested to read in there about Barack Obama's friends from Chicago. Turns out one of his earliest supporters is a man who, according to the New York Times, was a domestic terrorist, that, quote, ‘launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and the United States Capitol.'"
Barack Obama said in response that John McCain and his campaign "are gambling that he can distract you with smears rather than talk to you about substance."
Palin kicked it up a notch Sunday in response to Obama during a speech in Omaha, Neb., saying, "Obama held one of his first meetings hoping to kick off his political career in Bill Ayers' living room." The Obama campaign admits Ayers in 1995 did host a meet and greet for Obama in his home when he was running for the Illinois State Senate. Obama served as a director on the non-profit Woods Fund of Chicago alongside Ayers.
Bill Ayers and his Weather Underground group were responsible for 25 bombings in the United States, yet he and his wife never went to prison due to findings of improper surveillance. Ayers still refuses to apologize for the bombings.
In September of 2001, Ayers was quoted in a New York Times interview saying, "I don't regret setting bombs; I feel we didn't do enough." When asked if he would do it again, Ayers said, "I don't want to discount the possibility."
Obama also has very close ties to another terrorist, Rashid Khalidi, a former officer in the terrorist Palestine Liberation Organization and now a professor at Columbia University. While Obama and Ayers were co-chairs on the board of the Woods Fund they approved $70,000 in funding to Khalidi's Arab American Action Network according to reports from terrorist specialist Daniel Pipes on Hannity's America over the weekend. In 2000 Khalidi held a political fundraiser for Obama. At a dinner hosted by Obama honoring Khalidi in Chicago, Obama spoke of this former Palestinian terrorist in glowing terms (link includes utrageous Khalidi comments on Israel).
In April of this year, the Los Angeles Times reported on the Khalidi event (Allies of Palestinians See a Friend in Barack Obama) saying, "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.'"
According to Daniel Pipes, this connection between Ayers, Khalidi and Obama is important because it shows at one time an operational relationship between the three who appeared to be working for the same goals.
The next debate between John McCain and Barack Obama is tomorrow night.
Connie Hair is a freelance writer, a former speechwriter for Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and a former media and coalitions advisor to the Senate Republican Conference.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.
Campus Watch contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org