Minnesota Independent: When McCain is done with Ayers, will he take the Rashid Khalidi bait?

Minnesota Independent

When McCain is done with Ayers, will he take the Rashid Khalidi bait?

 

He’s no Jeremiah Wright or Bill Ayers, but Palestinian academic and Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi (pictured) may be next in the parade of radical ghosts from Obama’s past.

The McCain campaign launched its television ad about Barack Obama and Bill Ayers yesterday–and McCain is now speaking of the connection for the first time in stump speeches. Obama’s connection to the educator and one-time Weather Underground fugitive was first reported in February.

Hubbub about Obama’s relationship with Rashid Khalidi has been around just about as long, and it shows signs of picking up steam. An April 2008 Los Angeles Times article introduced the connection:

It was a celebration of Palestinian culture — a night of music, dancing and a dash of politics. Local Arab Americans were bidding farewell to Rashid Khalidi, an internationally known scholar, critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights, who was leaving town for a job in New York.

A special tribute came from Khalidi’s friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi’s wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.

His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been “consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases. . . . It’s for that reason that I’m hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation — a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid’s dinner table,” but around “this entire world.”

In the Fox piece  Khalidi is said to have work for the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s official press agency in the early ’80s, when the PLO was designated as a terrorist organization by the United States Government. Also presented as evidence of Khalidi’s extremism is his wife’s role Chicago’s Arab American Action Network. Sean Hannity apparently found the combination of the words Arab American, action, and network enough to damn the organization, because he reports nothing of their work–just that Obama and Ayers sat on the board of the foundation that gave the organization grant money.

 

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