On Tuesday of this week, John McCain's Presidential campaign made an unusual demand: that the Los Angeles Times release a video of a party that Barack Obama attended in 2003.
The party was for Rashid Khalidi, who is variously portrayed as just another Obama neighborhood college professor friend or as a radical Palestinian activist and former PLO spokesman.
Khalidi is currently head of the Middle Eastern Studies Department at Columbia University, which Andrew McCarthy, Contributing Editor of National Review and former federal prosecutor, describes as a "bubbling cauldron of anti-Semitism."
Syndicated columnist Mona Charen adds, "Consistent with what you'd expect from someone who justfied PLO attacks on civilians in Israel and Lebanon from 1976 to 1982, Khalidi routinely refers to Israel as a 'racist' and 'apartheid' state and professes to believe in a 'one-state' solution to the conflict. Guess which country would have to disappear for that 'one' state to come into existence?"
According to McCarthy, the party in question "featured encomiums by many of Khalidi's allies, colleagues, and friends, including Barack Obama, then an Illinois state senator, and Bill Ayers, the terrorist turned education professor. It was sponsored by the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), which had been founded by Khalidi and his wife, Mona, formerly a top English translator for [Yasser] Arafat's press agency."
It is undisputed that the Obamas and the Khalidis are friends and that the Khalidis (like William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn) held a campaign event for Obama in their Hyde Park living room (for an unsuccessful congressional run). But this association transcends friendship. Back to Charen again: "In his capacity as a director of the Woods Fund, Obama in 2001 and 2002 steered $75,000 to the Arab American Action Network..." which McCarthy describes as "rabidly anti-Israel."
Needless to say, Obama's connection to Khalidi and support for an anti-Israel organization should be of concern to Israel, American Jews and others who are unpersuaded by any moral relativism of Palestinian terrorists.
A tape of a party for Khalidi, attended by William Ayers and Barack Obama, at which even the Los Angeles Times (which has the tape) acknowledges that inflammatory comments against Israel were made, could prove far more than embarrassing to Obama, as a candidate or even as President.
In demanding that the Times release the tape, McCain spokesman Michael Goldfarb said, "A major news organization is intentionally suppressing information that could provide a clearer link between Barack Obama and Rashid Khalidi. The election is one week away, and it's unfortunate that the press so obviously favors Barack Obama that this campaign must publicly request that the Los Angeles Times do its job – make information public."
In response, Times editor Russ Stanton issued a statement: "The Los Angeles Times did not publish the videotape because it was provided to us by a confidential source who did so on the condition that we not release it."
Or, as Obi-Wan Kenobi might put it, "This is not the October Surprise you are looking for."October 29, 2008