"They do not hate us for our freedoms: It is US and western policies that enrage Muslims," was the headline over the editorial in the Financial Times. It complains that "US support for Israel has solidified while the Israelis continue to expand their hold over the immeasurably weaker Palestinians," and that, "The Iraqi state and society have broken under a US occupation that continues to use disproportionate force with high civilian casualties."
The lone academic authority cited in the Financial Times editorial? Columbia University's Rashid Khalidi, who is the Edward Said professor of Arab studies and the director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia. The Edward Said chair was paid for in part by a $200,000 donation from the United Arab Emirates.
In a December 15, 2003, appearance on Al-Jazeera television, Mr. Khalidi attacked the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, an American think tank. He calls it "amongst the most important tools of the Zionist propaganda in the United States." Mr. Khalidi's claim that it is "an Israeli institute" is simply false. The Institute is based in America and, with the exception of a small bit of funding from Turkey, has been funded by Americans. What's the point of having a Columbia professor claim that the Washington Institute, whose board of advisers includes four former American secretaries of state, is a tool of Zionist propaganda whose main objective is spreading lies about Arabs?
The ADL recently noted a December 11 speech by the leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan, in which the minister said "the rudder that is turning America is not your elected officials; it's that small influential group of neoconservatives that are using America's power to destroy the enemies of Israel." How different is that from Mr. Khalidi's statement, in his recent book, that "Perle, Feith, Wurmser, and others" are "part of a group that often seems to have virtually exclusive access to the top decision-makers in the Bush administration"? Maybe Columbia's president, Lee Bollinger, should look into giving Minister Farrakhan tenure. He'd fit right in.