Middle East studies in the News
L.A. Times Suppresses Damaging Obama Videotape [incl. Rashid Khalidi]
by Jim Meyers
The Los Angeles Times is refusing to release a videotape showing Barack Obama attending an event in Chicago honoring a Palestinian activist who formerly served as a spokesman for Yasser Arafat.
The 2003 event was a farewell party for Rashid Khalidi, who was leaving the University of Chicago to take a position at Columbia University in New York.
Obama, then an Illinois state senator, lavished praise on Khalidi at the party, which was sponsored by the Arab American Action Network. So did unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers, according to Andrew C. McCarthy, contributing editor at National Review, who disclosed Khalidi's link to "master terrorist" Arafat.
Back in April, Peter Wallsten of the Los Angeles Times wrote about the party and disclosed: "The event was videotaped, and a copy of the tape was obtained by The Times."
But as the Boston Herald noted about the videotape, "The Los Angeles Times refuses to release it"
McCarthy observed: "Is there just a teeny-weenie chance that this was an evening of Israel-bashing Obama would find very difficult to explain? Could it be that The Times, a pillar of the Obamedia, is covering for its guy?"
Khalidi himself spoke at the event, praising Obama and telling the crowd that he deserved their help in winning a U.S. Senate seat. "You will not have a better senator under any circumstances," he said.
In the 1970s, Khalidi taught at a university in Beirut, Lebanon, and often spoke on behalf of Arafat's Palestinian Liberation Organization.
In 1990s, he advised the Palestinian delegation during peace negotiations. And in 2000, Khalidi and his wife held a fundraiser for Obama's unsuccessful congressional bid.
The following year, a social service organization whose board was headed by Khalidi's wife received a $40,000 grant from a local charity that included Obama among its board of directors, the Times reported in April.
The Times disclosed: "At Khalidi's 2003 farewell party, one 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. If Palestinians cannot secure their own land, she said, "then you will never see a day of peace."
One speaker likened "Zionist settlers on the West Bank" to Osama bin Laden, saying both had been "blinded by ideology."
Regarding anti-Israeli rhetoric, McCarthy wrote that Obama "wouldn't possibly let something like that pass without a spirited defense of the Israel he tells us he so stanchly supports, would he?"I guess to answer that question, we'd have to know what was on the tape.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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