Martin Kramer on Rashid Khalidi and Barack Obama: Kindred Spirits

Martin Kramer has been following the career of former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi for years, and is convinced that Khalidi’s “moderation” is a sham: Khalidi and Obama: kindred spirits.

Were we to see the videotape, it might give us some sense of how far down the road Obama went in that [anti-Israel] direction—and not all that long ago. It would be interesting to know, for example, if there was reference to Iraq. In 2003, when Khalidi’s friends gave him his goodbye party, he was deep into propagandizing against the Iraq war. Among his arguments, he included this one:

This war will be fought because these neoconservatives desire to make the Middle East safe not for democracy, but for Israeli hegemony. They are convinced that the Middle East is irremediably hostile to both the United States and Israel; and they firmly hold the racist view that Middle Easterners understand only force. For these American Likudniks and their Israeli counterparts, sad to say, the tragedy of September 11 was a godsend: It enabled them to draft the United States to help fight Israel’s enemies.

This argument against the war was not at all unusual on the faculty of the University of Chicago at the time. Another professor of Middle East history, Fred Donner, gave it blatant expression on the pages of the Chicago Tribune, calling the Iraq war “a vision deriving from Likud-oriented members of the president’s team—particularly Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith.” So perhaps it is not surprising that Obama, in his October 2002 antiwar speech, declared:

“What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other arm-chair, weekend warriors in this Administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.”

No mention of Cheney or Rumsfeld—and no need to mention them, to a constituency that knew who was really behind the push for war, and why. (Later, the same argument would figure prominently in The Israel Lobby, co-authored by another Chicago professor, John Mearsheimer.)

Obama, when pressed during an appearance before a Jewish audience, admitted that “I do know him [Khalidi] because I taught at the University of Chicago.” This sounds wholly innocuous; I also know Khalidi because I taught at the University of Chicago—twice, in 1990 and 1991, when I had an office on the same hall. Obama continues: “And I do know him and I have had conversations.” Well, even I’ve had conversations with Khalidi. (A former Chicago graduate student who must keep meticulous records writes to me that he spotted me on December 6, 1990, at the Quad Club lunching with Khalidi.) Nor does it mean much if Khalidi introduced Obama to Edward Said; Khalidi introduced me to Edward Said in New York in November 1986.

The difference is that while I came away from these encounters convinced that Khalidi’s purported moderation was a sham, and have said so, Obama went the other direction, maintaining their friendship right up to Khalidi’s send-off from Chicago, to which he contributed an encomium. Which is why I’d really like to see that videotape. I’m just curious which of Rashid Khalidi’s virtues I somehow missed, and Barack Obama saw.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Square Cash Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
The Widening Gap in Abortion Laws in the USDan Keating, Lauren Tierney, Tim Meko, Danielle Rindler, The Washington Post Alabama has created the nation's strictest abortion ban, the latest attempt to prompt the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade. Gov. Kay Ivey, R, signed the bill that ...
Cheechako
5 hours, 11 minutes ago
Views: 81 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Philly Remembers the Japanese Oskar SchindlerDuring World War II the Japanese Ambassador in Lithuania broke with his country's policy and wrote thousands of travel visas for Jews who were trying to escape Nazi occupied Europe. His son met with some of those who benefited from ...
PhillyPretzel
8 hours, 55 minutes ago
Views: 128 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 5
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Down on the PromenadeProvided to YouTube by CDBaby Down On the Promenade · Marc Monroe Copasetic ℗ 2013 Mark Kelton Released on: 2013-04-23 Auto-generated by YouTube.
Thanos
2 days, 11 hours ago
Views: 215 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Why Alabama’s Abortion Ban Is Akin to TortureLast night, the Republican governor of Alamba, Kay Ivey, signed into law a bill to ban abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. The bill passed 25-6 on Tuesday. Everyone who voted for it was a man. The same ...
plansbandc
2 days, 12 hours ago
Views: 195 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 3 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Dido - Take You Home (Official Video) The official video for Take You Home, taken from Dido's new album, Still On My Mind. Buy now: dido.lnk.to Follow DidoOfficial site - didomusic.comFacebook - facebook.com Instagram - instagram.comTwitter - @didoofficial Jordan Rossi (Video Producer), John RankinWaddell (Video Director) ...
Thanos
3 days, 4 hours ago
Views: 210 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Norah Jones - Begin Again (Live on the Today Show)‘Begin Again’ comes from Norah Jones’s latest compilation of the same name.Listen to the full compilation here: norahjones.lnk.to See Norah live: norahjones.lnk.to Connect with Norah:norahjones.comfacebook.com@norahjonesinstagram.com #NorahJones #BeginAgain vevo.ly
Thanos
3 days, 5 hours ago
Views: 238 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Bill Evans ‘Peace Piece’ Virtual Museum Exhibit: Pasos Peace Museum (visit: www. pasospeacemuseum.org)—Bill Evans's "Peace Piece" is an unrehearsed modal composition that he recorded for his "Everybody Digs Bill Evans" LP in 1958. It is hailed as one of the most beautiful and ...
Thanos
4 days, 6 hours ago
Views: 247 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Have You Ever Seen the Rain - Endless Summer (Creedence Clearwater Revival Cover) (Grand Canyon) Thanks for watching our cover of "Have You Ever Seen The Rain" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Subscribe: Please Note: No drones were flown in the Grand Canyon National Park. All drone footage was purchased off shutterstock.com. Follow Endless Summer:Instagram: ...
Thanos
4 days, 6 hours ago
Views: 379 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
The Allman Betts - ‘Melodies Are Memories’ (Live at WFUV) wfuv.org • Follow @wfuv: ow.ly The Allman Betts Band performs "Melodies are Memories" live in Studio A. Recorded 3/27/19. Host: Eric HollandAudio: Chris RussoCameras: Kay Kurkierewicz, Jeffrey Pelayo, Jake Lee, Mackenzie Cranna and Elise LeasureEditor: Jake Lee and Kay ...
Thanos
4 days, 6 hours ago
Views: 255 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Stevie Ray Vaughan - Crossfire + Travis Walk (Instrumental) [1989] When I first heard Stevie Ray Vaughan it was like a light went off in my head. Being a hack guitar player I was not unlike any other. You chase sounds in your head.What SRV did was just roll ...
Wah Gwaan?!
4 days, 9 hours ago
Views: 242 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 3
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0