The Press is all agog, Republicans for Obama, like organizations like this don’t pop up in every presidential election. But Most of Obama’s new Republican friends will fit right in with the rest of his crew, people like Robert Malley, Samantha Power, Zbigniew Brzezinski, his new buddies are anti-Israel. I don’t understand what it is with this guy, he claims to be a friend of Israel but everyone he attracts is of dubious middle east credentials. This isn’t guilt by association…its guilt by mob rule. My friend Ed Lasky picks up the story:
Obama’s GOP roster share anti-Israel views
Barack Obama claims that he is a post-partisan politician and promises he will work well with Republicans. This is contrary to his history in the Senate to date and also flies in the face of the National Journal, which found him to be the most liberal member of the Senate.
In any case, he does try to sprinkle a few Republicans about him to burnish his credibility — which these days needs a lot of burnishing. In any case, there also seems to be a common theme among the Republicans that support Barack Obama: they have anti-Israel views.
The New York Sun earlier this year noted that Obama expressed a desire to bring Senators Chuck Hagel and Dick Lugar on board should he become President. The Sun editorialized that this was disheartening since these two Senators were known for their problematic attitudes towards the American-Israel relationship. Today, the Obama campaign announced a new group of Republicans who support his candidacy.This morning, former Iowa Republican Congressman Jim Leach, former Rhode Island Republican Senator Lincoln Chaffee, and prominent lawyer and former White House intelligence advisor Rita E. Hauser will host a conference call to endorse Senator Barack Obama and announce the formation of Republicans for Obama.
The theme continues: these Republicans — with the exception of Jim Leach — also are very cool towards the American-Israel relationship.Lincoln Chafee has a long history of being one of the least supportive Senators of the American-Israel relationship, and having lost the most recent election, is now teaching students international affairs at Brown University.He also has a history of expressing views that are certainly not warm towards our embattled ally.
Rita Hauser is a fierce critic of Israel; an activist who tours the country promoting anti-Israel views. Again, from the New York Sun:
A professor coming to Columbia University this fall to head up a Middle East studies institute has said that killing armed Israelis is legitimate Palestinian “resistance” to occupation.
The money Columbia is using to pay the professor comes in part from Rita Hauser, a high-profile New York philanthropist whose former law firm was a registered agent of the Palestinian Authority. Also contributing was a foundation with close ties to Saudi Arabia.Rashid Khalidi, a professor of history and Near Eastern languages and civilizations and director of the Center for International Studies at the University of Chicago, is set to move to Columbia University this fall, where he will teach as the Edward Said professor of Middle Eastern studies, a new – and supposedly anonymously funded – position at the school. He will also direct the school’s Middle East Institute.
The New York Sun has obtained an audio recording of a speech Mr. Khalidi gave on June 7, 2002, at a conference of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
While condemning violence against innocent civilians, which Mr. Khalidi said “means condemning Israel,”he appeared to condone the killing of armed Israelis in the next breath.
“…Killing civilians is a war crime. It’s a violation of international law.They are not soldiers. They’re civilians, they’re unarmed. The ones who are armed, the ones who are soldiers, the ones who are in occupation, that’s different.That’s resistance,” Mr. Khalidi said.
Professor Khalidi is a close friend of Barack Obama from their days together in Chicago. Their families socialized; as a director of the Woods Foundation, Barack Obama granted money to Khalidi’s wife’s anti-Israel group. Khalidi was one of the allies of Palestinians who saw a friend in Barack Obama, as the Los Angeles Times wrote in a trailblazing article earlier this year . Obama credited Khalidi with influencing his own views.
There is more.
Hauser is the Chairwoman of the Advisory Board of the International Crisis Group. This is the Soros-funded group which was praised by Soros at a ceremony during which they gave him a Founders Award for their work on the Palestinian question. The International Crisis Group seems to be a congenial environment for anti-Israel foreign policy experts. These include experts who are close to Barack Obama: Robert Malley, Samantha Power, Zbigniew Brzezinski. Now we can add Rita Hauser.
Update — Patrick Casey reminds us Chafee already quit the GOP:
Chafee quit the Republican Party in 2007, as this story in the 9/16/07 Providence Journal tells us:Pretty cowardly thing to do, especially since it came just a few months after the Republican Party spent millions supporting him in his re-election effort. I’ve always thought that with his disaffiliation, he essentially admitted that he stole that money from the national GOP. I wonder when he’s planning to return it?I guess it’s possible that Chafee joined the GOP again, but I can’t find it. Even the Watson Institute at Brown (where Chafee teaches) still has a story up applauding Chafee’s move.