Saturday, March 22, 2008


Electronic Intifada: How Barack Obama Learned to Love Israel


There’s yet another Barack Obama story that’s been out there for a while, but is only starting to get noticed this week in the context of the Rev. Wright meltdown—Obama’s connections to the radical Palestinian propaganda web site Electronic Intifada and its co-founder Ali Abunimah.

Joel Pollak at Guide to the Perplexed points out an article posted at Electronic Intifada March 4, 2008: ei: How Barack Obama learned to love Israel.

Over the years since I first saw Obama speak I met him about half a dozen times, often at Palestinian and Arab-American community events in Chicago including a May 1998 community fundraiser at which Edward Said was the keynote speaker. In 2000, when Obama unsuccessfully ran for Congress I heard him speak at a campaign fundraiser hosted by a University of Chicago professor. On that occasion and others Obama was forthright in his criticism of US policy and his call for an even-handed approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The last time I spoke to Obama was in the winter of 2004 at a gathering in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. He was in the midst of a primary campaign to secure the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate seat he now occupies. But at that time polls showed him trailing.

As he came in from the cold and took off his coat, I went up to greet him. He responded warmly, and volunteered, “Hey, I’m sorry I haven’t said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race. I’m hoping when things calm down I can be more up front.” He referred to my activism, including columns I was contributing to the The Chicago Tribune critical of Israeli and US policy, “Keep up the good work!”

1 comment:

Geoff B. said...

I'm very surprised that anyone who is pro-Israel and to whom accuracy is important would get information from "the radical Palestinian propaganda web site Electronic Intifada and its co-founder Ali Abunimah." My view is that LGF's description of EI and its co-founder is accurate. I'm sure you would agree that EI shamelessly lies about Israel in order to make it look bad. Facts are just things that don't seem to concern that site; I therefore don't believe a word of its terrorist-sympathizing propaganda. So it surprises me that you would select this one item to take as true.

EI also says that Israel is a terrorist state that targets not just Palestinian militants, but is also engaged in a campaign to murder Palestinian civlians ( Do you believe that too, or do you only choose to believe the stuff about Barack Obama?