Rashid Khalidi, a friend of President Obama's active in Palestinian causes, has signed an appeal for funds to send to Gaza an aid ship that would be named after the president's best-selling book, "The Audacity of Hope."Whatever else you may think of the idea, the fact remains that the way Khalidi is planning this is illegal. Andy McCarthy, former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, points out:
A group calling itself U.S. Boat to Gaza is seeking $370,000 in the next month to send the ship in an effort to thwart the Israeli blockade on the Palestinian enclave controlled by the militant group Hamas.
A number of other prominent individuals are listed as support the appeal, including Angela Y. Davis and Alice Walker.
The United States has neutrality laws against things like fitting, furnishing or arming vessels with the intent of committing hostile acts against a country with which the U.S. is at peace. (Challenging a blockade is a hostile act.) We also have laws against providing material support to terrorist organizations like Hamas.The only question is whether the US will take any action against Obama's friend.
You may recall that during his campaign, Obama claimed that he and Khalidi (who has terrorist ties) had only a slight relationship:
You mentioned Rashid Khalidi, who is a professor at Columbia. I do know him because he talked at the University of Chicago and he is Palestinian, and I do know him and I have had conversations.The LA Times at the time showed that the truth was that relationship was much more than that:
He is not one of my advisers, he is not one of my foreign policy people, his kids went to the lab school where my kids go as well.
He is a respected scholar although he vehemently disagrees with a lot of Israel policy.
It was a celebration of Palestinian culture -- a night of music, dancing and a dash of politics. Local Arab Americans were bidding farewell to Rashid Khalidi, an internationally known scholar, critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights, who was leaving town for a job in New York.But they did more than talk--Obama and Khalidi raised money for each other:
A special tribute came from Khalidi's friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi's wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.
His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been "consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases. . . . 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," but around "this entire world."
When Obama served as a director of the Woods Fund in 2001 and 2002, the foundation donated $75,000 to the AAAN [Arab American Action Network, founded by Khalidi], for projects like an “oral history” project on the “Nakbah,” which translates as “catastrophe,” and is the name Palestinians use for the birth of Israel. Khalidi held a fundraiser for Obama when the latter ran for Congress in 2000...This video ties it all together:
So 2 friends of Obama--both with ties to terrorism--support flotillas to Gaza.
Nothing was done to stop Ayers.
Will anything be done to stop Khalidi?
Hat tip: Powerline
Crossposted on Soccer Dad
Technorati Tag: Obama and Rashid Khalidi and William Ayers and Gaza Flotilla.