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Ignoring Rashid Khalidi's Anti-Israeli Radicalism

An Obama friend who the Times calls merely "critical of Israel" has actually defended attacks against armed Israelis.

In its story Thursday on the McCain campaign calling for the Los Angeles Times to release a videotape of a dinner attended by Barack Obama honoring "Palestinian rights advocate" Rashid Khalidi, reporters Richard Perez-Pena and Elisabeth Bumiller soft-pedaled Khalidi's anti-Israeli radicalism.

At least the Times was forthright in quoting McCain and Sarah Palin's criticism of the paper in "McCain Attacks Los Angeles Times Over Its Refusal To Release '03 Obama Video."

Alleging media bias in favor of Democrats, Senator John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin seized Wednesday on The Los Angeles Times's refusal to release a five-year-old videotape of Barack Obama at a dinner honoring a Palestinian rights advocate.

The video shows a gathering in Chicago for Rashid Khalidi, a teacher, writer and Obama friend who is critical of Israel. Mr. Obama spoke at the dinner, where other speakers likened Israel and Israelis to terrorists. The McCain campaign said the tape could show how Mr. Obama reacted to anti-Israel remarks.

Mr. Khalidi, now a professor of Arab studies at Columbia University, opposes Israel's occupation of territory it seized in the 1967 war and has defended Palestinian resistance to the occupation. He advised a Palestinian delegation at a 1991 peace conference and has written several books on the Middle East.

"Resistance" is a euphemism for Khalidi's defense of attacks against armed Israelis. Here's what Khalidi said in a June 2002 speech before a conference of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee:

'"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."

The Times later quoted Palin's sarcasm:

"What we don't know is how Barack Obama responded to these slurs on a country that he professes to support, and the reason we don't know is the newspaper that has this tape, The Los Angeles Times, refuses to release it," Ms. Palin said at a rally in Bowling Green, Ohio. "It must be nice for a candidate to have major news organizations looking out for their best interests like that."