Dov Lipman, who served as a member of Israel’s 19th Knesset, writes about
Obama’s revisionist ‘Promised Land’ — a
scathing review of the errors and outright misleading claims in Obama’s new
I have no problem with criticism of Israel. We can debate the issues in
intellectually honest discussions, and in the end, we may have to agree to
disagree about Israel’s policies. But no one should accept a book that is
filled with historical inaccuracies that invariably lead innocent and
unknowing readers to reach false conclusions. Such a devastating book has
real-life ramifications and consequences.
It is terribly
disappointing. I surely would have expected truth, accuracy and fairness
from Barack Obama, America’s 44th president.
But the falsehoods and inaccuracies in this memoir only feed the theory
that Obama was, in fact, anti-Israel.
Now, through A Promised Land, he seeks to convince others to join him.
note why we should not be surprised by Obama’s attack on Israel in his book.
Israel’s history as just a response to the Holocaust.
the Holocaust is the justification for the Jewish State of
I know that that there are those who would argue that in some ways America
has become a safe refuge for the Jewish people,
but if you’ve gone through the Holocaust, then that does not offer the
same sense of confidence and security as the idea that the Jewish people
can take care of themselves no matter what happens. That makes it a
fundamentally just idea.
Obama’s speech during his trip to Cairo in June, 2009
America’s strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable.
It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and
the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a
tragic history that cannot be denied.
cultural and indigenous ties — well, that is another matter.
about Obama’s disregard for Israel before he became president.
commitment to Israel,
Obama was asked about his association with Rashid Khalidi
You mentioned Rashid Khalidi, who is a professor at Columbia. I do know
him because he talked at the University of Chicago and he is Palestinian,
and I do know him and I have had conversations with him.He is not one of my advisers, he is not one of my foreign policy
people, his kids went to the lab school where my kids go as well.He is a respected scholar although he vehemently disagrees a lot of
|Obama, with his wife and Khalidi|
Two evasions are worth noting.
through the school where their children go.
not casual acquaintances.
synagogue, reports about a party Obama attended in honor of Rashid Khalidi
upon his moving to New York to teach at Columbia University:
A special tribute came from
Khalidi’s friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack
Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi’s
wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.
many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been “consistent reminders to me
of my own blind spots and my own biases. . . . It’s for that reason that I’m
hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation — a
conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid’s dinner
table,” but around “this entire world.”
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
Their belief is not drawn from Obama’s speeches or campaign
literature, but from comments that some say Obama made in private and from his
association with the Palestinian American community in his hometown of
Chicago, including his presence at events where anger at Israeli and U.S.
Middle East policy was freely expressed. [emphasis added]
Obama could have answered honestly that Khalidi was a friend with whom he had
little contact after his move to New York and that Khalidi was an Arab friend
just as he had Jewish friends.
might explain why
For a true friend, Obama also chose peculiar associates. He was quite
friendly with Rashid Khalidi, a former director of the official press agency
for the Palestine Liberation Organization (and now a professor at Columbia).
Khalidi, who has called Israel an “apartheid” state and who defends the
right of Palestinians to use violence against Israel, founded a group
called the Arab American Action Network. When Obama served as a director
of the Woods Fund in 2001 and 2002, the foundation donated $75,000 to the
AAAN, for projects like an “oral history” project on the “Nakbah,” which
translates as “catastrophe,” and is the name Palestinians use for the
birth of Israel.
Khalidi held a fundraiser for Obama when the latter ran for Congress in 2000
We should note in passing who else Obama worked with at the Woods Fund. Aaron
Klein wrote in February 2008:
Obama Worked With Terrorist
Obama served on the Wood’s Fund board alongside
William C. Ayers, a member of the Weathermen terrorist group which
sought to overthrow of [sic] the U.S. government and took responsibility for
bombing the U.S. Capitol in 1971.
Ayers, who still serves on the Woods Fund board, contributed $200 to
Obama’s senatorial campaign fund and has served on panels with Obama at
numerous public speaking engagements.
Ayers admitted to involvement in the bombings of U.S. governmental
buildings in the 1970s.
He is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. [emphasis added]
Speaking of associating with terrorists, note that Mona Charen refers to
Khalidi as “a former director of the official press agency for the Palestine
Obama’s friend Khalidi did in fact work for the terrorist PLO as its
“If the Israelis had any brains they could neutralize Palestinian irredentism
just by giving back the West Bank,” asserted Rashid Khalidi, an
American-educated Palestinian who teaches political science at the American
University of Beirut and also works for the P.L.O. “It would split us.”
diplomatic, national security, and Middle East correspondent for the
The Post’s defense of Rashid Khalidi [“An ‘Idiot Wind,’ ” editorial, Oct. 31]
was generally commendable, but in fairness to Sen. John McCain, it should be
noted that Mr. Khalidi was indeed “a PLO spokesman.”
In the early
years of the Lebanese civil war,
Mr. Khalidi was the Beirut-based spokesman for the Palestine Liberation
Organization, and his office was a stop on the daily rounds of journalists
covering that conflict.
As we used to say in the pre-electronic newspaper business: Check the
THOMAS W. LIPPMAN
The Middle East Institute
Khalidi, never released the tape. They claimed it would reveal the identity of
the person who gave them the tape.
spots and my own biases,” as he claimed — or merely reinforce them?
connection with him, according to this quote from the book by Middle East Eye:
“They [Jewish supporters] attributed these whisper campaigns not to any
particular position I’d taken (my backing of a two-state solution and
opposition to Israeli settlements were identical to the positions of the other
candidates) but rather to my expressions of concern for ordinary Palestinians;
my friendships with certain critics of Israeli policy, including an
activist and Middle East scholar named Rashid Khalidi;
and the fact that, as Ben [Rhodes] bluntly put it, ‘You’re a Black man with a
Muslim name who lived in the same neighborhood as Louis Farrakhan and went to
Jeremiah Wright’s church.’”
not end with pushing for UN Resolution 2334.