Skip to Content

Rashid Khalidi

In a video obtained by the Los Angeles Times, Barack Obama is seen praising radical Palestinian activist Rashid Khalidi.

The video was taken at at a farewell dinner for Khalidi, Obama’s colleague at the University of Chicago, before his departure for Columbia University in New York in 2003.

The LA Times, which endorsed Barack Obama for president on October 19, published their own account of the events that occurred on the videotape in a story written by Peter Wallsten in April.

The Times refuses to release the videotape, leading many to speculate that the paper is purposely suppressing the tape of the event, which was reportedly attended by former Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

The McCain campaign is now demanding that the Times release the video, saying it could, among other things, show how Obama responded to a poem recited at the party accusing Israel of “terrorism” and warning of consequences for U.S. support for Israel, which McCain spokesman Michael Goldfarb described as “hate speech.”

“A major news organization is intentionally suppressing information that could provide a clearer link between Barack Obama and Rashid Khalidi,” said Goldfarb.

“The election is one week away, and it’s unfortunate that the press so obviously favors Barack Obama that this campaign must publicly request that the Los Angeles Times do its job — make information public,” he said.

Obama has distanced himself from Khalidi in recent months, saying, “He is not one of my advisers. He’s not one of my foreign policy people,” adding, “He is a respected scholar, although he vehemently disagrees with a lot of Israel’s policy.”

But according to the Times, Obama said in his toast that he hoped his relationship with Khalidi would continue even after the professor left Chicago. “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 …