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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rashid Khalidi's Complaint: Israel's Wanting to be Jewish State

Nadene Goldfoot
Remember Rashid Khalidi, the Palestinian American professor at Columbia U of Arab Studies?  He was given a going away party in 2003 as he was leaving the U. of Chicago for Columbia when Obama was still a state senator and they were together there at the party with Bill Ayers, former American terrorist.  Rashid was a former mouthpiece for Yasser Arafat and his wife Mona was  the translator for Arafat's press agency. 

Rashid complained in the Chicago Tribune on August 31st that the House of Representatives just had a trip to Israel paid for by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's American Israel Education Foundation, so it didn't come out of any taxpayer's pocket.  He thought Rep. Jackson, son of Jesse Jackson,  of Illinois should have stayed at home.  Actually, Israel welcomed them there in order to give them more information about Israel's situation.  I do hope they flew on El Al.  I felt the safest on that plane. 

This Arab studies professor thinks that Israel is wrong in expecting to be recognized as the Jewish state and connects it to the "old fashioned idea of the USA being a white state only". In this he sees the Palestinian citizens of 1.4 million as 2nd class citizens. 

This did happen to Jews living in Arab countries and they were deemed something in Sharia law called dhiminnis, or  even 3rd class citizens, but it is not that way for Arabs in Israel.  In Arab lands Jews were discriminated against as were others like the Christians.  They had to pay more in special poll  taxes, couldn't build higher than their Arab neighbors, and were under all sorts of injustices such as dress codes and worship had to be kept hidden. 

And how would Rashid know anything?  Most likely he has never been to Israel nor has he read anything that would put Israel in a good light.  He had founded  the AAAN, Arab American Action Network,  which turned out to be "rabidly anti Israel.  They see Israel as illigitimate.  He tries to justify Palestinian terrorism, and calls his group a social service group." So of course he wouldn't like Jackson telling the Palestinians to recognize Israel as the homeland for the Jewish people. 

Evidently Jackson talked to Palestinians about using non-violence and spent time talking to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and embraced him.  That seemed to infuriate Khalidi who said he was just trying to promote himself in Washington.  He thinks that progressives and others are the ones concerned with the rights of Palestinians. 

 Khalidi thinks Israel has been  dominating Palestinians for decades and that is why there is no peace between the two. By spouting off in such a way, especially after what these Representatives observed in Israel, he shows that he is not living in  reality at all.  To him, Palestinians are subjugated, humiliated and segregated.  To think that he is teaching Arab studies makes me shiver. 

Back in 2003 Obama was reminiscing about the good times he had had talking with Khalidi at their kitchen table and looked forward to more of them.  Too bad both men couldn't have visited Israel with the Representatives to see what it was all about. 

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