29 October 2008 at 10:45:31 AM
Sheesh. The man is a joke.
The Khalidi Gambit: McCain Attacks Obama for Connection to Palestinian Activist Whose Work McCain Helped Fund
But McCain has his own connection to Khalidi.
In 1993, McCain became chairman of the International Republican Institute. He still chairs that respected organization.
That same year, Khalidi helped found the Center for Palestine Research and Studies, self-described as “an independent academic research and policy analysis institution” created to meet “the need for active Palestinian scholarship on issues related to Palestine.” (Its archived website is HERE.)
Khalidi was on the board of trustees through 1999.
According to tax returns the McCain-chaired IRI funded the organization Khalidi founded and served on to the tune of $448,873 in 1998 (click HERE to see the tax return) and to the tune of $389,621 in 1999 (click HERE.)
The IRI continued to give money to the CPRS after Khalidi left the group as well.
I can't wait for him to just LOSE. And go back to being cranky as a Senator.
P.S. More, from Harper's Magazine
McCarthy states that Khalidi “founded” the Arab American Action Network (AAAN). In fact, he neither founded it nor has anything to do with it. But AAAN is not, as McCarthy suggests, a political organization. It is a social-services organization, largely funded by the state of Illinois and private foundations, that provides support for English-language training, citizenship classes, after-school and summer programs for schoolchildren, women’s shelters, and child care among Chicago’s sizable Arab community (and for others on the city’s impoverished South Side). Does McCarthy consider this sort of civic activism objectionable? Since it was advocated aggressively by President Bush–this is “compassionate conservativism” in action–such an objection would be interesting. Nor was Khalidi ever a spokesman for the PLO, though that was reported in an erroneous column by the New York Times’s Tom Friedman in 1982. That left me curious about the final and most dramatic accusation laid at Khalidi’s doorstep: that the Khalidis babysat for the Obamas. Was it true? I put the question to Khalidi. “No, it is not true,” came the crisp reply. Somehow that was exactly the answer I expected.
Of course, Khalidi has been involved in Palestinian causes. McCarthy ought to ask John McCain about that, because McCain and Khalidi appear to have some joint interests, and that fact speaks very well of both of them. Indeed, the McCain–Khalidi connections are more substantial than the phony Obama–Khalidi connections McCarthy gussies up for his article. The Republican party’s congressionally funded international-networking organization, the International Republican Institute–long and ably chaired by John McCain and headed by McCain’s close friend, the capable Lorne Craner–has taken an interest in West Bank matters. IRI funded an ambitious project, called the Palestine Center, that Khalidi helped to support. Khalidi served on the Center’s board of directors. The goal of that project, shared by Khalidi and McCain, was the promotion of civic consciousness and engagement and the development of democratic values in the West Bank. Of course, McCarthy is not interested in looking too closely into the facts, because they would not serve his shrill partisan objectives.
P.P.S. the Republican group says Oops, Righty-o and then tries to distance itself. Would be highly entertaining if it was not McCain and Palin groundlessly trying to SMEAR Obama.
An uncomfortable glitch in this attack: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairs an organization that gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to a group Khalidi founded and for which he served on the board (more on that HERE).
The IRI has now issued a statement, confirming that it gave money to Khalidi's group (though IRI officials are going through their records trying to determine how much, exactly) and also trying to distance the organization from Khalidi himself.
“Questions have arisen regarding the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) work with Palestinians in the 1990s," a statement from the group reads. "In the 1990s, IRI gave grants to the Center for Palestinian Research and Studies (CPRS) for polling in the West Bank/Gaza. The polls measured support for the peace process, for various Palestinian political groups, and for efforts to enhance governance in the West Bank/Gaza. At that time no other organization could credibly conduct polling in the West Bank/Gaza.
international republican institute
center for palestine research and studies
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