Rashid Khalidi Ranted About the ‘Zionist Lobby’ on Al Jazeera

In December 2003, Barack Obama’s friend Rashid Khalidi appeared on the Arabic version of Al Jazeera and let the mask drop completely, in a bigoted, antisemitic rant against the Washington Institute for Near East Policy: Dr. Rashid and Mr. Khalidi.

By God, I say that the participation of the sons or daughters of the Arabs in the plans and affairs of this institute is a huge error, this Israeli institute in Washington, an institute founded by AIPAC, the Zionist lobby, and that hosts tens of Israelis every year. The presence of an Arab or two each year can’t disguise the nature of this institute as the most important center of Zionist interests in Washington for at least a decade. I very much regret the participation of Arab officials and non-officials and academics in the activities of this institute, because in fact if you look at the output of this institute, it’s directed against the Palestinians, against the Arabs, and against the Muslims in general. Its products describe the Palestinians as terrorists, and in fact its basic function is to spread lies and falsehoods about the Arab world, of course under an academic, scholarly veneer. Basically, this is the most important Zionist propaganda tool in the United States.

Martin Kramer comments on the organization Khalidi attacked, which is directed by Dennis Ross—who is now Barack Obama’s Middle East advisor:

This is the intimidating language of Arab boycott, aimed against an institution with entirely American credentials. The Washington Institute is directed by Ambassador Dennis Ross, who was the chief Middle East peace negotiator in the presidential administrations of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He has always been a model of balance (unlike Khalidi, whose forays into politics have always been to advise Yasir Arafat). The Washington Institute is run by Americans, and accepts funds only from American sources. (Contrast with the donors of Khalidi’s chair, whose precise identities Columbia still refuses to reveal.) …

I note that Khalidi has never made a comparable statement in English, probably for this reason: it would damage his reputation as a bridge-building moderate. To maintain that image, he’s even shared podiums with members of The Washington Institute. But Khalidi in Arabic, on Al-Jazeera, is someone else altogether. There he is the bridge-burner, the zealot who would warn other Arabs away from The Washington Institute because it is “Israeli,” and a “Zionist propaganda tool.” Behold, Arab-style McCarthyism.

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