Middle East studies in the News
This Is the Khalidi Obama Embraced
by Jennifer Rubin
Many  others have  surmised that the Los Angeles Times is running interference for Barack Obama, declining not just to provide the tape of the Rashid Khalidi goodbye event which Obama attended in 2003, but a complete transcript. It is reasonable to ask what could have been so bad about the event. What could possibly have been so objectionable about the speeches or proceedings that might concern voters at this late date?
Well, the original Times report gives us only the sketchiest account. But now we have a video of a  complete Khalidi lecture from June 2007. It is quite an eye-opener.
Viewers curious about the views of the man whom in 2003 Obama gave a " warm embrace" (physically or verbally?) should skip to the fifty-minute mark on the  video tape. You see, Khalidi tells us, the U.S. is repeating the same error of the Cold War in pursuing its war against Islamic terrorists. According to Khalidi it is the same "blind, foolish, reductionism." And the U.S. policy is designed according to Khalidi to "get Palestinians to destroy one another." And on it goes.
His view of Israel? It is worse than "apartheid." Continue to the end of the tape when he is asked about the massive Israeli media conspiracy headed by none other than Mortimer Zuckerman. He doesn't quite buy into that, but his description of American Jews who control the money and votes to manipulate Congress sounds an awful lot like Mearsheimer and Walt's "The Israeli Lobby." Or General  Tony McPeak for that matter.
So it would be very interesting to see precisely what Khalidi said in Obama's presence four years earlier. Was the rhetoric above the sort of language which preceded the warm words of praise from Barack Obama? The specifics matter, the context is crucial.
Obama claims he was never present for the anti-American and anti-Israeli rants of Reverend Wright. But he was there for a tribute to Khalidi, and voters should have the right to know if he sat impassively when Israel was vilified or if he seemed concerned when, as the Times tells us, "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." (According to the Times, "If Palestinians cannot secure their own land, she said, "then you will never see a day of peace.") Did he seem concerned when "One speaker likened ‘Zionist settlers on the West Bank' to Osama bin Laden, saying both had been ‘blinded by ideology'"? We don't know. The Times won't tell us.
But we should know. Obama has presented a certain face to the voters and we should see if it matches up to the face he showed others before he imagined anyone outside his circle of like-minded comrades might take particular notice.
On PJTV:  Roger Simon interviews Ben Shapiro, one of those demonstrating outside the LA Times demanding release of the Obama/Khalidi video.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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