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By Aaron Klein
February 24, 2008
JERUSALEM - The board of a nonprofit organization on which Sen. Barack Obama served as a paid director alongside a confessed domestic terrorist granted funding to a controversial Arab group that mourns the establishment of Israel as a "catastrophe" and supports intense immigration reform, including providing drivers licenses and education to illegal aliens.
The co-founder of the Arab group in question, Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi, also has held a fundraiser for Obama. Khalidi is a harsh critic of Israel, 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.
In 2001, the Woods Fund, a Chicago-based nonprofit that describes itself as a group helping the disadvantaged, provided a $40,000 grant to the Arab American Action Network, or AAAN, for which Khalidi's wife, Mona, serves as president. The Fund provided a second grant to the AAAN for $35,000 in 2002.
Obama was a director of the Woods Fund board from 1999 to Dec. 11, 2002, according to the Fund's website. According to tax filings, Obama received compensation of $6,000 per year for his service in 1999 and 2000.
Obama served on the Wood's Fund board alongside William C. Ayers, a member of the Weathermen terrorist group which sought to overthrow of 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.
The $40,000 grant from Obama's Woods Fund to the AAAN constituted about a fifth of the Arab group's reported grants for 2001, according to tax filings obtained by WND. The $35,000 Woods Fund grant in 2002 also constituted about one-fifth of AAAN's reported grants for that year.
The AAAN, headquartered in the heart of Chicago's Palestinian immigrant community, describes itself as working to "empower Chicago-area Arab immigrants and Arab Americans through the combined strategies of community organizing, advocacy, education and social services, leadership development, and forging productive relationships with other communities."
It reportedly has worked on projects with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, which supports open boarders and education for illegal aliens.
The AAAN in 2005 sent a letter to New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson in which it called a billboard opposing a North Carolina-New Mexico joint initiative to deny driver's licenses to illegal aliens a "bigoted attack on Arabs and Muslims."
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.
According to the widely discredited Nakba narrative, Jews in 1948 forcibly expelled hundreds of thousands - some Palestinians claim over one million - Arabs from their homes and then took over the territory.
Historically, about 600,000 Arabs fled Israel after surrounding Arab countries warned they would destroy the Jewish state in 1948. Some Arabs also were driven out by Jewish forces while they were trying to push back invading Arab armies. At the same time, over 800,000 Jews were expelled or left Arab countries under threat after Israel was founded.
The theme of AAAN's Nakba art exhibit, held at DePaul University in 2005, was "the compelling and continuing tragedy of Palestinian life ... under [Israeli] occupation ... home demolition ... statelessness ... bereavement ... martyrdom, and ... the heroic struggle for life, for safety, and for freedom."
Another AAAN initiative, titled, "Al Nakba 1948 as experienced by Chicago Palestinians," seeks documents related to the "catastrophe" of Israel's founding.
A post on the AAAN site asked users: "Do you have photos, letters or other memories you could share about Al-Nakba-1948?"
That posting was recently removed. The AAAN website currently states the entire site is under construction.
Pro-PLO advocate held Obama fundraiser, describes Obama as 'sympathetic'
AAAN co-founder Rashid Khalidi was reportedly a director of the official PLO press agency WAFA in Beirut from 1976 to 1982, while the PLO committed scores of anti-Western attacks and was labeled by the U.S. as a terror group. Khalidi's wife, AAAN President Mona Khalidi, was reportedly WAFA's English translator during that period.
Rashid Khalidi at times has denied working directly for the PLO but Palestinian diplomatic sources in Ramallah told WND he indeed directed WAFA. Khalidi also advised the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid Conference in 1991.
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 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.
While the Woods Fund's contribution to Khalidi's AAAN might be perceived as a one-time run in with Obama, the presidential hopeful and Khalidi evidence a deeper relationship.
According to a professor at the University of Chicago who said he has known Obama for 12 years, the Democratic presidential hopeful 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.
Khalidi in 2000 held what was described as a successful fundraiser for Obama's failed bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, a fact not denied by Khalidi.
Speaking in a joint interview with WND and the John Batchelor Show of New York's WABC Radio and Los Angeles' KFI Radio, Khalidi was asked about his 2000 fundraiser for Obama.
"I was just doing my duties as a Chicago resident to help my local politician," Khalidi stated.
Khalidi said he supports Obama for president "because he is the only candidate who has expressed sympathy for the Palestinian cause."
Khalidi also lauded Obama for "saying he supports talks with Iran. If the U.S. can talk with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, there is no reason it can't talk with the Iranians."
Asked about Obama's role funding the AAAN, Khalidi claimed he had "never heard of the Woods Fund until it popped up on a bunch of blogs a few months ago."
He terminated the call when petitioned further about his links with Obama.
Contacted by phone, Mona Khalidi refused to answer WND's questions about the AAAN's involvement with Obama.
Obama's campaign headquarters did not reply to a list of WND questions sent by e-mail to the senator's press office.
Obama, American terrorist in same circles
Obama served on the board with Ayers, who was a Weathermen leader and has written about his involvement with the group's bombings of the New York City Police headquarters in 1970, the Capitol in 1971 and the Pentagon in 1972.
"I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough," Ayers told the New York Times in an interview released on Sept. 11, 2001
"Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon," Ayers wrote in his memoirs, titled "Fugitive Days." He continued with a disclaimer that he didn't personally set the bombs, but his group set the explosives and planned the attack.
A $200 campaign contribution is listed on April 2, 2001 by the "Friends of Barack Obama" campaign fund. The two taught appeared speaking together at several public events, including a 1997 University of Chicago panel entitled, "Should a child ever be called a 'super predator?'" and another panel for the University of Illinois in April 2002, entitled, "Intellectuals: Who Needs Them?"
The charges against Ayers were dropped in 1974 because of prosecutorial misconduct, including illegal surveillance.
Ayers is married to another notorious Weathermen terrorist, Bernadine Dohrn, who has also served on panels with Obama. Dohrn was once on the FBI's Top 10 Most Wanted List and was described by J. Edgar Hoover as the "most dangerous woman in America." Ayers and Dohrn raised the son of Weathermen terrorist Kathy Boudin, who was serving a sentence for participating in a 1981 murder and robbery that left 4 people dead.
Obama advisor wants talks with terrorists
The revelations about Obama's relationship with Khalidi follows a recent WND article quoting Israeli security officials who expressed "concern" about Robert Malley, an adviser to Obama who has advocated negotiations with Hamas and providing international assistance to the terrorist group.
Malley, a principal Obama foreign policy adviser, has penned numerous opinion articles, many of them co-written with a former adviser to the late Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, petitioning for dialogue with Hamas and blasting Israel for numerous policies he says harm the Palestinian cause.
Malley also previously penned a well-circulated New York Review of Books piece largely blaming Israel for the collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations at Camp David in 2000 when Arafat turned down a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and eastern sections of Jerusalem and instead returned to the Middle East to launch an intifada, or terrorist campaign, against the Jewish state.
Malley's contentions have been strongly refuted by key participants at Camp David, including President Bill Clinton, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and primary U.S. envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross, all of whom squarely blamed Arafat's refusal to make peace for the talks' failure.
By Rick Moran
February 27, 2008
I have waxed both seriously and clownishly about Barack Obama's "Cotton Candy Candidacy" and the fact that his nebulously formed ideas make him something of an empty suit when it comes to trying to figure out where he stands on many issues.
I have also pointed out that this is deliberate obfuscation on his part, done in order to hide his liberal past. Indeed, there is no candidate in recent memory who has taken such pains to see that his political philosophy remains a cipher - a razor thin record in the Illinois Senate along with almost as invisible U.S. Senate votes are carefully hidden away in the campaign's attic, gone and mostly forgotten in the rush to proclaim the candidate The Agent of Change.
He's a slippery fish, this fellow Obama. Controversial votes when he was a state senator were avoided by voting "present" or claiming later that he erred by pressing the wrong button and didn't really mean to take that position. Seen in the context of the "Great Game" the Left plays with the American people in trying to mask their liberalism for fear of rejection by the voter, Obama, it turns out, is a master of "post partisan problem solving" - hiding his liberalism under an avalanche of platitudes and feel-good bromides that have his supporters swooning and the media eating out of his hand.
But the closet Obama may be in the process of being revealed. This is the Obama who voted to make a criminal out of a homeowner who was forced to use a gun in his own defense in his own home. This is the Obama who voted against making it a criminal offense for convicts on probation or on bail to have contact with a street gang. Indeed, Obama's record on anti-gang legislation is simple: because gang members are more often people of color, they shouldn't be singled out for increased attention or special penalties by the law.
But beyond his clearly liberal voting record in the Illinois state senate and his being named the most liberal senator in the U.S. Senate by National Journal, there is an issue just starting to bubble and froth below the media radar that may or may not become a huge issue - depending on how protective the national media wants to be of Obama.
I am talking about the extent of the candidate's ties to domestic terrorists from the 1960s and how the American people might feel about their future president palling around with someone who set off bombs as a member of the group Weather Underground and who, to this day, refuses to apologize for it. William Ayers told his followers back then:
"Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that's where it's really at." This earns Ayers at least some spiritual kinship to Osama Bin Laden. (In last Sunday's New York Times Magazine, which of course went to press before Sept. 11, Ayers maintains that this was "a joke." In a more serious vein, Ayers was quoted by another Times interviewer as saying, "I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough."
The earliest known contact between Obama and Ayers was a "meet and greet" at Ayers' house in Hyde Park - an upper middle class neighborhood on Chicago's south side. Ben Smith at Politico gives an overview of the time and circumstance of the meeting:
In 1995, State Senator Alice Palmer introduced her chosen successor, Barack Obama, to a few of the district's influential liberals at the home of two well known figures on the local left: William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.
While Ayers and Dohrn may be thought of in Hyde Park as local activists, they're better known nationally as two of the most notorious - and unrepentant - figures from the violent fringe of the 1960s anti-war movement.
Now, as Obama runs for president, what two guests recall as an unremarkable gathering on the road to a minor elected office stands as a symbol of how swiftly he has risen from a man in the Hyde Park left to one closing in fast on the Democratic nomination for president.
In fact, Ayers - unrepentant about bombing his own country as he claims - is an establishment figure in the unreconstructed liberal circles in Hyde Park - a hero to many of the University of Chicago faculty and other Leftists who reside there. This is the district in which Obama ran successfully for state senate.
Ayers and Dohrn are simply the most visible of the far Left supporters who propelled Barack Obama's early political career. The woman who touted Obama at the Ayers meeting, Alice Palmer, was herself a far Left activist who was into community organizing like Obama. There was Dr. Quentin Young, a radical physician who was quoted in USA Today in 2005 saying ""national health insurance is no longer the best solution, it's the only solution: All other alternatives have been proven disastrous failures." According to Ben Smith, Dr. Young describes Ayers and Obama as "friends:"
Neither Ayers nor the Obama campaign would describe the relationship between the two men. Dr. Young described Obama and Ayers as "friends," but there's no evidence their relationship is more than the casual friendship of two men who occupy overlapping Chicago political circles and who served together on the board of a Chicago foundation.
But Obama's relationship with Ayers is an especially vivid milepost on his rise, in record time, from a local official who unabashedly reflected a very liberal district to the leader of national movement based largely on the claim that he can transcend ideological divides.
There were other "encounters" with Ayers over the years, including the fact that both men served on a far Left foundation as board members:
Wondering whether the three may have crossed paths is not speculation. It is a fact that they have. Ayers, Dohrn, and Obama have appeared together at a number of gatherings and academic events.
In November 1997, Ayers and Obama participated in a panel at the University of Chicago entitled, "Should a child ever be called a 'super predator?'" to debate "the merits of the juvenile justice system".
In April 2002, Ayers, Dohrn, and Obama, then an Illinois State Senator, participated together at a conference entitled "Intellectuals: Who Needs Them?" sponsored by The Center for Public Intellectuals and the University of Illinois-Chicago. Ayers and Obama were two of the six members of the "Intellectuals in Times of Crisis" panel.
Ayers, "who in the 1960s was a member of the terrorist group Weatherman and a wanted fugitive for over a decade as a result of the group's bombing campaign," is currently the Board Chairman of the Woods Fund of Chicago and Obama is a former Board member.
Just what does the Woods Fund seek to do with its $68 million in assets?
This new Fund focused on welfare reform, affordable housing, the quality of public schools, race and class disparities in the juvenile justice system, and tax policy as a tool in reducing poverty. The Fund supported the concept of an expanding welfare state allocating ever-increasing amounts of money to the public school system, and the redistribution of wealth via taxes.
"Unreconstructed" liberals indeed.
There have been many articles written the last few weeks asking just how liberal Obama truly is. How far to the Left are his true politics? Since his record is so unrevealing of where he stands, one must go to his life, his associates, and his supporters to fill in the blanks.
And what comes to the fore is clear evidence that Barack Obama isn't just an ordinary liberal like a Kennedy or a Clinton. Obama's associations and associates reveal someone who has courted far Left activists, participated in far Left forums, and belonged to far Left organizations.
On top of that, his stint as a community organizer was marked by his training in radical organizing. My colleague at American Thinker, Kyle-Anne Shriver, delved into this aspect of Obama's early adulthood:
Barack Obama had just graduated from Columbia and was looking for a job. Some white leftists were looking for someone who could recruit in a black neighborhood in the south side of Chicago.
Obama answered a help-wanted ad for a position as a community organizer for the Developing Communities Project (DCP) of the Calumet Community Religious Conference (CCRC) in Chicago. Obama was 24 years old, unmarried, very accustomed to a vagabond existence, and according to his memoir, searching for a genuine African-American community.
Both the CCRC and the DCP were built on the Alinsky model of community agitation, wherein paid organizers learned how to "rub raw the sores of discontent," in Alinsky's words.
And Alinsky's writings on radicalism and social change should chill the bones of not only conservatives, but more moderate liberals:
Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and change the future. This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution. To bring on this reformation requires that the organizer work inside the system, among not only the middle class but the 40 per cent of American families - more than seventy million people - whose income range from $5,000 to $10,000 a year [in 1971]."
If this doesn't sound like the way Obama is running his stealth campaign, I don't know what does.
I should add that I don't believe Obama is a dangerous man in the sense he would overturn the government and turn the U.S. into some gigantic gulag. But if the voters knew the half of it, Obama would have been marginalized as a far Left liberal as surely as Dennis Kucinich. Instead, Obama has successfully used his oratorical skills to say very little about what he plans to do if elected while inspiring people with a message of hope and change.
Will the media expose Obama? Will they criticize Senator McCain if he tries to paint Obama as a radical? Will they dig deep into Obama's associations and associates to discover the truth?
Taylor Marsh is perplexed:
This is the vein in the Democratic party I will never understand, cannot accept on any level. What is it about some people who just don't get the problems with our Democratic nominee being friendly, even taking a contribution (however small), as well as having a meeting as recently as 1995 with an unrepentant domestic terrorist like William Ayers? It reveals a lack of seriousness about the issue of terrorism and the dangerously immature judgment of anyone who is going to associate with a man, at the very least, that Republicans will use to beat us over the head with, having the bonus of hitting a spot the public loves to drink up, which is that our party is not serious about the dangers we face in this world.
It's the same impulse among those Democrats who think Castro is cool and Chavez is a hero. And in Obama's case, if the American voter ever gets the full story, the party could be facing a defeat in a year where all the stars were aligned in their favor.
A few snippets from Bill Ayres blog:
"I’m sometimes asked if I regret anything I did to oppose the war in
Viet Nam, and I say “no, I don’t regret anything I did to try to stop the
slaughter of millions of human beings by my own government.” Sometimes
I add, “I don’t think I did enough.” This is then elided: he has no
regrets for setting bombs and thinks there should be more bombings.
The illegal, murderous, imperial war against Viet Nam was a catastrophe
for the Vietnamese, a disaster for Americans, and a world tragedy.
Many of us understood this, and many tried to stop the war. Those of us
who tried recognize that our efforts were inadequate: the war dragged on
for a decade, thousands were slaughtered every week, and we couldn’t
stop it. In the end the U.S. military was defeated and the war ended, but
we surely didn’t do enough."
For the few who may not know, what he did, and apparently didn't feel
he did enough of, was bomb places. And, in fact, the organization he was
with, the Weather Underground, was responsible for killing 2 police
officers and a Brinks guard, when, acting as common criminals, they
robbed an armored car.
Thankfully, in 1969, 3 of the Weather Underground blew themselves up
building a bomb they planned to plant at Ft. Dix, NJ, a US Army base. The
bomb was packed with nails to inflict maximum casualties upon
detonation. One of the three killed was Bill Ayers' girlfriend at the time.
Between October of 1969 and Sept. 1975 (when the participation of the
US in the war in Vietnam was well over), the organization Bill Ayers was
an integral part of was responsible for 24 bombings to include
bombings at Harvard and MIT.
But, like most of the self-righteous and self-absorbed, he's good for a
bit of rationalization and intellectual dishonesty to excuse his
"Terrorism—according to both official U.S. policy and the
U.N.—is the use or threat of random violence to intimidate, frighten, or
coerce a population toward some political end. This means, of course,
that terrorism is not the exclusive province of a cult, a religious sect,
or a group of fanatics. It can be any of these, but it can also be—and
often is—executed by governments and states. A bombing in a café in
Israel is terrorism, and an Israeli assault on a neighborhood in Gaza is
terrorism; the September 11 attacks were acts of terrorism, and the
U.S. bombings in Viet Nam for a decade were acts of terrorism. Terrorism
is never justifiable, even in a just cause—the Union fight in the 1860’s
was just, for example, but Shernan’s [sic] March to the Sea was
indefensible terror. I’ve never advocated terrorism, never participated in
it, never defended it. The U.S. government, by contrast, does it
routinely and defends the use of it in its own cause consistently."
Good lord, what a complete and obvious load of horseapples.
Back to his previous remarks about Vietnam:
"Many of us understood this, and many tried to stop the war."
So what was the purpose of Ayers' bombings? To try "to stop the war",
right? A "political end", wouldn't you say? And how did he try to
accomplish that political end? By using and threatening "random violence to
intimidate, frighten, or coerce a population" toward that end.
Yet this pompous ass hasn't the intellectual honesty to admit he is
what he decries and condemns.
In the entry below, he reveals two things - why he's a professor of
English Education and that he's still a self-righteous and self-absorbed
nincompoop who has no problem enjoying the benefits of a system he
obviously doesn't understand in the least but has no problem condemning:
"Capitalism played its role historically and is exhausted as a force for
progress: built on exploitation, theft, conquest, war, and racism,
capitalism and imperialism must be defeated and a world revolution—a
revolution against war and racism and materialism, a revolution based on
human solidarity and love, cooperation and the common good—must win."
Is Barack Obama as clueless about Ayers as he claims to be about what
Jeremiah Wright has been up to for 23 years?
And to top it off, Bill Ayers is a pig. Not the type he would define
from days of yore, but a simple, ugly, miserable human pig as Donna Ron,
who unfortunately got to know him better than she wanted too, attests.
This is the guy the left, Obama and Daily want to defend? The guy whose
"exploits" 40 years ago are now excusable simply because of the
passage of time and because he's now settled in to a "normal" life?
As they continue to defend Ayres, or wave off any significance
concerning their relationship with him (imagine the same leeway being given to
someone who had even a casual relationship with David Duke), they
should understand that those who learn the story aren't going to be as
accepting of their defense of him. And whether the left likes it or not,
choosing to defend this man will count against "judgment" and "character",
whether they like it or not.