Tennessee Republicans have outdone David Horowitz, Daniel Pipes and Charles Jacobs in writing the most disgusting, lurid and smear-filled press release I’ve read so far in this campaign attacking Barack Obama. Since they’ve slightly cleaned it up since first publishing it, I’m providing the Google cache of the original version. The release, headlined Anti-Semites for Obama, lumps in this group Louis Farrakhan, Rashid Khalidi, a Chicago non-profit group, University of Illinois Prof. Bill Ayers, and Rob Malley. Here are some of the choicer nuggets of wisdom (and note the use of the candidate’s middle name below):
The Tennessee Republican Party today joins a growing chorus of Americans concerned about the future of the nation of Israel, the only stable democracy in the Middle East, if Sen. Barack Hussein Obama is elected president of the United States.
…Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan on Sunday likened Obama to a new messiah…
Of course he did nothing of the sort, though he did call him “the hope of the world.” In this passage the release reminds readers of Obama’s so-called Muslim roots:
Obama, (pictured dressed in Muslim attire in a 2006 visit to Africa)…
Obama has pledged to hold a Muslim Summit to determine Middle East policy with the very leaders that have as their goal to remove Israel from the map, referenced Jews to be “dogs” and “pigs,” among other vile references.
Precisely which Arab leaders have called Jews dogs and pigs? Of course, Obama has not pledged to hold a Muslim Summit to “determine Middle East policy.” He’s suggested holding a summit to listen to the Arab world and attempt to improve the standing of the U.S. within the Arab world. Only in the world of the wingnut is talking with someone viewed as surrendering to them.
Now, this one is really complicated and bizarre so you have to follow all the obscure references:
Over the weekend, news reports surfaced casting more disturbing evidence of Obama’s anti-Israel leanings.
The board of a nonprofit organization on which Obama served as a paid director alongside a confessed domestic terrorist granted funding to a controversial Arab group that mourns the establishment of Israel as a “catastrophe.”
The co-founder of that organization, Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi, who also has held a fundraiser for Obama, is a harsh critic of Israel and has made statements supportive of Palestinian terror. Khalidi reportedly has worked on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization while it was involved in anti-Western terrorism and was labeled by the State Department as a terror group.
The Woods Fund, a Chicago-based nonprofit that describes itself as a group helping the disadvantaged, provided a $40,000 grant in 2001 to the Arab American Action Network, or AAAN, for which Khalidi’s wife, Mona, serves as president. The Fund provided a second grant to the AAAN for $35,000 in 2002. Obama was a director of the Woods Fund board from 1999 to Dec. 11, 2002, according to the Fund’s website. Tax records show he was paid $6,000 per year for his service in 1999 and 2001.
Also serving on the Wood’s Fund board alongside Obama was current University of Illinois-Chicago professor William C. Ayers, who was a member of the Weathermen terrorist group which sought to overthrow of the U.S. government and took responsibility for bombing the U.S. Capitol in 1971.
First, Rashid Khalidi has NEVER “made statements supportive of Palestinian terror.” You’ll note absolutely no proof is presented for this charge which probably has been lifted directly from a Campus Watch or Frontpagemagazine publication. Second, I wonder whether there is any proof that the PLO was “labeled by the State Department as a terrorist group.” I’m fairly certain that such federal terror designations began well after the PLO renounced terrorism. Third, the press release produces no proof that the Arab-American Action Network is a “controversial Arab group” (except in the minds of the author of the release and Pipes, Horowitz and Jacobs) nor that it “mourned the establishment of Israel as ‘a catastrophe.'” Fourth, the release calls Bill Ayers a “confessed domestic terrorist” but never provides any proof of any act of terror he ever engaged in. Instead it notes that the Weathermen, of which he was a member, “sought to overthrow the government” and bombed the U.S. Capitol, which is a far cry from proving that Ayers himself committed any act of terror.
The piece de la resistance is this knife-slashing of Rob Malley, a former Clinton Mideast advisor. Note the quotation from Horowitz’s hatchet-job Discoverthenetworks:
“You don’t even have to go outside Obama’s campaign to find advisers who are anti-Israel,” said Bill Hobbs, communications director for the Tennessee Republican Party. “Robert Malley, a principal foreign policy adviser to Obama, has advocated negotiations with the Iranian-funded radical terrorist group Hamas and urged that Hamas – which sends suicide bombers to kill innocent women and children – receive international assistance.”
According to DiscoverTheNetworks.org, an online guide to the political Left, Malley “consistently condemns Israel, exonerates Palestinians, urges U.S. disengagement from Israel, and recommends that America reach out to negotiate with its traditional Arab enemies.”
“Nothing in Barack Obama’s history or his choice of advisers suggests he will be a friend to Israel,” said Hobbs. “On the contrary, supporters of Israel should view a possible Obama administration with extreme caution, as America’s ally is being put in the cross-hairs by the anti-Jewish left.”
Malley certainly does NOT “urge U.S. disengagement from Israel” and five of Clinton’s top advisors who are supporting both presidential candidates wrote a letter defending and supporting Malley from these vicious smears. Not to mention that Malley isn’t a formal or even informal advisor to the Obama campaign. But why let facts get in your way when ignorance is such bliss?
I just hope that John McCain’s campaign goes in this direction. It will be oh so much easier to beat him than if he took the high road. But in truth, given the Supreme Court’s green light to 528 groups to raise and spend even more tens of millions than they did in the last campaign, it will be such groups spreading such vileness. And the beauty of this for a candidate like McCain is that he can do what Bush did during the Swift Boat episode–sit back, look pretty, and smile like the cat that ate the canary.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.