The latest OHSOSCARY thing about Obama is that he is friends with Anti-Semitic Muslim Rashid Khalidi. Except for the anti-Semitic part. Turns out that he’s got a pretty good reputation among Jewish folks, and that his positions are moderate. Oh, and McCain funded Khalidi’s work.
I am an observant American Jew, my grandparents were survivors of Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen, and I am a proud Zionist, although one who identifies more with the J-Street Project than AIPAC. I am also a supporter of Barack Obama. I have been following the “controversy” over Rashid Khalidi and just read the article in The Nation to which you linked. I know nothing else about Khalidi, other than some biographical information I picked up on Wikipedia and news reports. I have to say, based on the article, he seems to have a very reasonable, thoughtful approach to the “situation” in Israel and Palestine.
There are obviously lots of emotions on both the Israeli/Jewish and Palestinian sides, but it is the extremists on both sides of the fence that keep the pot simmering at all times. When I think about the issue from the Palestinian perspective (something I wish more of my fellow supporters of Israel would do from time to time) I find it impossible to come up with a more reasonable take on the situation than the one presented by Khalidi.
To love and support Israel, and to view it as the ultimate protection for Jews from another Holocaust, does not require one to completely disregard the suffering of the Palestinian people, most of whom committed no sin other than to be born in a land claimed by another. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to one day wake up and be told your land is no longer yours and you have to leave. My own people have been in that situation before, and it turns my stomach that the experience of my family is used to justify keeping another people down. As Khalidi rightly points out, sympathizing with the Palestinian situation does not mean excusing them for their own impotence in bringing about the changes necessary to end that situation. There’s enough blame to go around, but the world would be a much better place if everyone could at least see things from the viewpoint of the “other side.”
They have nothing. McCain’s ultimate problem is that the core of every argument he has made has been completely false. Obama isn’t a socialist anymore than any other Democratic politician (or Bush), but Sarah Palin is the biggest socialist of all, skimming oil company profits to hand every Alaskan man, woman and child a check. Joe the Plumber isn’t going to be affected by Obama’s tax increase, and likely never will be. McCain’s economic plans will give us twice the debt as Obama. McCain used to oppose Bush’s tax cuts. Sarah Palin is dramatically unqualified for the job. She doesn’t know more about energy than anybody in America, or more about special needs children than anybody, in fact she doesn’t know more about anything than anybody in America. She didn’t oppose the Bridge to Nowhere. McCain’s earmarks crusade amounts to a teaspoon in a tidal wave. McCain is too hotheaded and Manichean to approach foreign policy more wisely than Obama. McCain sings about bombing Iran while his running mate agrees with Obama about striking Al Queda wherever they are. William Ayers was some damn education professor when Obama joined with him and a bunch of Republicans to hand out money to schools. McCain loves being a celebrity hobknobbing with Hollywood more than Obama. And now Rashid Khalidi is a moderate Palestinian respected by nearly everybody who knows him, Jewish or not, who McCain has funded to the tune of $400K+.
Obama simply stays cool and pushes forward while his opponents go mad and self-destruct. Every day John McCain degrades himself with some new despicably false attack on Obama, the better I feel about Obama leading the country.