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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

The Israeli government, worried that Sen. Barack Obama may win the U.S. presidential election, is rushing to finalize a deal with the Palestinians and possibly Syria before President Bush leaves office, two top Israeli diplomats told WorldNetDaily.

The diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Israel is seeking to create “defensible borders” within months, fearing if territorial negotiations were held during an Obama administration, Israel would be pressured into more dangerous concessions.

Asked how an Israeli evacuation of the West Bank or Jerusalem neighborhoods under any circumstances would advance Israel’s security, the diplomat replied: “We are talking about whether Israel would retain certain settlement blocs and other security guarantees, like some sort of Israeli monitoring mechanism in Palestinian areas. Also, U.S. security guarantees.”

Obama and Khalidi

Did Sen. Barack Obama misrepresent his relationship with a pro-Palestinian activist who has been described as a friend of the senator?

During a campaign stop last week at a Boca Raton, Fla., synagogue, Obama was asked about his association with Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi, who has made repeated statements supportive of Palestinian terrorism. Obama limited his relationship with Khalidi to “conversation,” and stressed the professor was not an adviser or staff member.

But Obama’s relationship with Khalidi – first exposed by this column – goes beyond conversation.

According to a professor at the University of Chicago who said he has known Obama for 12 years, the Democratic presidential hopeful befriended Khalidi when the two worked together at the university. Sources at the university said that Khalidi and Obama lived in nearby faculty residential zones and that the two families were friendly.

Khalidi in 2000 held what was described as a successful fund-raiser for Obama’s failed bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, a fact not denied by Khalidi, who spoke to WND in February.

An anti-Israel Arab group run by Khalidi’s wife, Mona, received crucial funding from a Chicago nonprofit, the Woods Fund, for which Obama served as a board member.

When Khalidi departed the University of Chicago in 2003, Obama delivered a testimonial at a farewell ceremony reminiscing about conversations over meals prepared by Mona Khalidi.

According to a Los Angeles Times account, Obama said his talks with the Khalidis were “necessary not just around Mona and Rashid’s dinner table,” but around “this entire world.” Other speakers at the farewell dinner, who reportedly spoke while Obama was present, recited poetry decrying American support for “terrorist” Israel and compared the Israeli government to Osama bin Laden.

Just last week, WND noted that Obama termed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a “constant sore” in an interview, perhaps echoing an opinion piece by Khalidi five days earlier in the Nation magazine in which he called the “Palestinian question” a “running sore.”

Fatah Attack

President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah organization attempted to carry out a massive bombing of the Israeli border last week that, if successful, would have been the largest terrorist attack here since the Jewish state retreated from the Gaza Strip three years ago.

In the attempted attack, a truck reportedly carrying four tons of explosives detonated prematurely as it was approaching the Erez crossing, the main industrial border crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

“The armed struggle is still leading Fatah’s philosophy and ideology. We don’t see contradictions between the political fight and resistance to occupation,” said Abu Ahmed, chief of Fatah’s Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades terrorist group in northern Gaza.

“We are aware some of the members of Fatah’s leadership and government don’t see positively the attacks, but they don’t represent the historical experience of Fatah,” said Abu Ahmed, whose Brigades took credit for the failed attack along with the Islamic Jihad terror group.

Retreat Elates Terrorists

Terrorists in the Gaza Strip are rejoicing at an Israeli decision to evacuate troops stationed at the Erez Crossing following repeated Palestinian attacks against Israel’s side of the border station.

“This retreat proves the Israeli army is a paper tiger. What we proved to the world in 2005 [when Israel evacuated its Jewish communities from the Gaza Strip] we are proving once again. We are reaching a new step and proving our resistance and our rockets are working,” Muhammad Abdel-Al, spokesman and a leader of the Hamas-allied Popular Resistance Committees terror group, told WND.

Islamic Jihad’s Abu Ahmed (not to be confused with Abu Ahmed of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades), called Israel’s troop evacuation a victory.

“We feel proud and determined,” he said in an interview.

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs and is the author of the recently published “Schmoozing with Terrorists.” 

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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