Rashid Khalidi is the controversial Palestinian scholar praised by Barack Obama in the infamous LA Times video. The LA Times newspaper refuses to release the video for thin reasons, journalistically speaking. See the evidence and story below.

So who is Rashid Khalidi at the center of the Los Angeles Times Obama video firestorm? Nominally he is a 58 year old Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University intertwined in Palestinian causes. Outside the resume he has advocated and provided a legal argument for Palestinians fighting violent wars in Israeli lands, land which he still terms an occupation, putting him at odds with UN Resolution 181 in 1947/48 which established Israel and was supported by the United States. He has called for “reparations” to Iraqis for the Iraqi War.

There is some evidence that Rashid Khalidi served as a de-facto spokesman for Yasser Arafat’s bloody Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a charge which he denies. Yet whether official spokesman or surrogate, he has done the Palestinians’ bidding over a long career that has impugned Israeli sovereignty at every opportunity, even serving as a Palestinian delegate during the farcical Madrid conference in 1991.

His controversial statements reportedly caused Princeton University to pull back from a tenured position there. So he remains at the most liberal and (subjective assessment) anti-Jewish institute of higher learning in the nation, Columbia University.

Read more about him here.

LA Times Obama Video

The saga begins way back in April 2008 when the LA Times reported on an event starring exemplary citizens William Ayers and Rashid Khalidi, sitting side by side with Barack Obama. About the video, they mention in passing that Obama toasted the radical Khalidi, but they neglect to report what exactly he said. They do not report the context, the reactions, or the speech by Ayers in which a dutiful Obama presumably sat through nodding and smiling. The LA Times concludes rather cryptically that Palestinians have a “friend” in Obama.

It should be noted that Barack Obama and Rashid Khalidi are close friends, one of the few friends Obama has acknowledged from his life before 2006. His kids go to school with Khalidi’s and he has admitted a full understanding of his views in an earlier interview.

Now fast forward to October 2008 where the major media is beginning to ask questions in light of Obama’s known associations with anti-American radicals. Where is the video? Let’s see for ourselves. Even the famously liberal politico.com and their embarrassing Obama-yes-man Ben Smith has “encouraged” the video’s release. That should end the argument.

Yet suddenly the Los Angeles Times is saying today that the informant gave them the video on condition it not be released. They could write about the contents, but not release it. Anyone believe that excuse? It’s like your best friend giving you a porno tape but making you promise not to watch.

What the LA Times did say at the time about the Obama Khalidi video:

The warm embrace Obama gave to Khalidi, and words like those at the professor’s going-away party, have left some Palestinian American leaders believing that Obama is more receptive to their viewpoint than he is willing to say.

One speaker likened “Zionist settlers on the West Bank” to Osama bin Laden, saying both had been “blinded by ideology.”

The Times claims in typical liberal fashion that they have given the full story by, you know, writing about the video. The problem, of course, is they have given us a sanitized version of the encounter, putting the best foot forward. The Los Angeles Times has endorsed Senator Obama for president, so they are hardly to be trusted with damaging information.

I think what actually happened here is the publisher is now stuck between loyalty to biased staff and the news. His Democrat staff, putting their best foot forward for Obama, concocted an excuse to hide the tape. Now the poor publisher has to protect the chastity of his staff or acknowledge they are acting like Obama embedded reporters. He knows the video is news. Give him credit for that. The junior reporters and their apologists in the newsroom are to blame for this conspiracy. Conjecture of course, but can you do better?

LA Times Obama Video (Discussion)

Photos: Loyola University