The Virginia couple who allegedly crashed a White House state dinner is tied to Rashid Khalidi, a pro-Palestinian professor who excuses terrorism and has been a close associate to President Obama.
Michaele and Tareq Salahi met Obama in a receiving line at last week’s event, with a “deeply concerned and embarrassed” Secret Service stating it never checked whether the two were on the White House guest list.
Tareq Salahi served on the board of the American Task Force for Palestine, where Columbia University Professor Khalidi served as vice president. The American Power blog noticed both Salahi’s and Khalidi’s names have been scrubbed from the Task Force website, although Salahi’s bio still comes up on a Google cache search of the site.
The Task Force lobbies for a Palestinian state and demands the so-called right of return for Palestinian “refugees” – a formula Israeli officials across the political spectrum have warned could destroy Israel by population genocide, with the Jewish state forced to accept millions of Arabs, thus diluting its Jewish majority.
Khalidi is a harsh critic of Israel. He has made statements supportive of Palestinian terror and reportedly has worked on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization while it was involved in anti-Western terrorism and was labeled by the State Department as a terror group.
During documented speeches and public events, Khalidi has called Israel an “apartheid system in creation” and a destructive “racist” state. He has multiple times expressed support for Palestinian terror, calling suicide bombings a response to “Israeli aggression.”
He dedicated his 1986 book, “Under Siege,” to “those who gave their lives … in defense of the cause of Palestine and independence of Lebanon.” Critics assailed the book as excusing Palestinian terrorism.
Obama, Khalidi closely tied
According to a professor at the University of Chicago who said he has known Obama for 12 years, Obama first befriended Khalidi when the two worked together at the university. The professor spoke on condition of anonymity. Khalidi lectured at the University of Chicago until 2003, while Obama taught law there from 1993 until his election to the Senate in 2004.
Obama also sat on the board of the Woods Fund, which in 2001 provided a $40,000 grant to Mona Khalidi’s Arab American Action Network, or AAAN. The fund provided a second grant to the AAAN for $35,000 in 2002.
Speakers at AAAN dinners and events routinely have taken an anti-Israel line. The group co-sponsored a Palestinian art exhibit titled “The Subject of Palestine” that featured works related to what some Palestinians call the “Nakba,” or “catastrophe” of Israel’s founding in 1948.
In 2003, Obama delivered an in-person testimonial for Khalidi, who at the time was departing the University of Chicago for a new teaching position at Columbia University in New York. At the 2003 event, poetry reportedly was read comparing Israelis to Osama bin Laden and accusing the Jewish state of terrorism.
In May 2008, WND noted, Obama termed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a “constant sore” in an interview just five days after Khalidi wrote an opinion piece in the Nation magazine in which he called the “Palestinian question” a “running sore.” WND
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