Election '08: Barack Obama tells Israel's supporters he's on their side. But he's using the playbook of Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian terrorist who said one thing to the West and another to the radicals who supported him.
As far as we know, Obama never met or publicly supported Arafat. But in 2003 he did attend a farewell party for an Arafat associate. Peter Wallsten reported in April in the Los Angeles Times that Obama was at an event held as a tribute for Rashid Khalidi, an "internationally known scholar, critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights" who was leaving Chicago for a job in New York.
Khalidi has not been accused of terrorism. But it's alleged that he has links to the Palestine Liberation Organization, which has a terrorist pedigree, and he does hold some rather virulent views on Israel, calling it a racist state.
While he has publicly opposed attacking Israeli civilians, Khalidi does, according to accounts of a speech he made to the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, have a different view of "the ones who are armed, the ones who are (Israeli) soldiers, the ones who are in occupation" of Palestinian lands, because "that's resistance."
Whether the Khalidi farewell was a "Jew-bash," as one blog labeled it, is not evident, as the video that Wallsten was apparently working from won't be released to the public.
But Wallsten revealed enough by writing that Obama was a "frequent dinner companion" of Khalidi and has been present at events, such as the farewell party for Khalidi, "where anger at Israeli and U.S. Middle East policy was freely expressed."
At that function, one speaker said that if Palestinians cannot secure their own land, "then you will never see a day of peace." Another, Wallsten wrote, "likened 'Zionist settlers on the West Bank' to Osama bin Laden."
This is the sort of company that Obama keeps. It's no surprise, though, because Obama has surrounded himself with racist, anti-American ministers (Jeremiah Wright, Michael Pfleger), an unrepentant terrorist (Bill Ayers, who has links to Khalidi through a foundation he and Obama worked on together), radical groups (ACORN, the New Party) and a convicted felon (Tony Rezko).
In addition to dining often with him, Khalidi held a fundraiser for Obama's failed 2000 congressional campaign. He knows the Illinois senator well enough to say that he's "the only candidate who has expressed sympathy for the Palestinian cause."
This should be enough for Obama supporters who stand behind Israel to rethink their vote. Those concerned about honesty and integrity should do the same, since Obama has sworn to be a friend of Israel.
Obama's deception reminds us of the way that Arafat tolerated Israel when talking to the Western media, but had the tongue of a terrorist when speaking in Arabic to radical Palestinian elements. Arafat said what he needed to say to keep his position of power. Obama will say anything to get elected, and then do another to achieve his goal of cutting off oxygen to Israel, the only freely elected government and U.S. friend in the region, outside of the newly formed Iraq.