McCain claim: Newspaper 'suppressing' Obama link to 'anti-Israel' professor Rashid Khalidi

Historians in the News

Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin accused the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday of protecting Barack Obama by withholding a videotape of the Democrat attending a 2003 party for a Palestinian-American professor and critic of Israel.

The paper said it had written about the event in April and would not release the tape because of a promise made to the source who provided it.

McCain and Palin called Rashid Khalidi a former spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization, a characterization that Khalidi has denied in the past. Both candidates said guests at the party made critical comments about Israel....

Khalidi is a professor of Middle East Studies at Columbia University and a longtime friend of Obama's. Khalidi has publicly criticized Israel, but he and Obama have both said they hold very different opinions on Israeli issues.

The Times is owned by Sam Zell, 67, a billionaire real estate investor and owner of the Chicago Cubs whose Jewish parents fled Poland for America weeks before the Nazi invasion. Describing Zell as “Jewish as you can get” when he purchased the newspaper in 2007, the Jewish Chronicle speculated that the new publisher’s penchant for Israeli and Jewish causes, to which he makes large contributions, might also be reflected in the paper’s editorial pages....

McCain also has ties to Khalidi through a group that Khalidi helped found 15 years ago. The Center for Palestine Research and Studies has received more than $800,000 from an organization that McCain chairs.

Related Links

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