How Deep is Obama’s Anti-Israel Bias?
© Jack Cashill
"There should not be a shred of doubt by now,” Obama told the told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in March 2012. “When the chips are down, I have Israel's back."
Once he won reelection, Obama had little reason to court America’s Jews and less reason to continue pretending to support Israel. A look at Obama’s history suggests he may have been pretending all along.
The story might best begin with a November 1979 syndicated column written by Vernon Jarrett, a powerful voice in the black community and the father-in-law of Obama’s closest adviser,Valerie Jarrett.
Jarrett began the column by asking an African American attorney named Khalid al-Mansour about the “rumored billions of dollars” oil-rich Arab nations were said to bestow on African American institutions.
“It’s not just a rumor,” al-Mansour assured him. According to Jarrett, al-Mansour had been urging the rich Arab kingdoms to provide “financial help to disadvantaged students.”
The fact that al-Mansour singled Jarrett out to promote a program designed to spend “$20 million per year for 10 years to aid 10,000 minority students” suggests a prior relationship.
Obama also had a connection to Jarrett, who died twenty years after Obama first came to Chicago. Obama’s Communist Hawaiian mentor Frank Marshall Davis, once a prominent Chicago journalist, had taken young reporter Vernon Jarrett under his wing.
According to historian Paul Kengor, Davis and Jarrett worked together on a number of projects, most notably the communist-controlled Citizens’ Committee to Aid Packinghouse Workers.
It so happens, too, that Obama began his studies at Occidental College in September 1979, two months before the Jarrett column was published. In Dreams he tells how he visited “Frank” before departing for the mainland, and Davis gave him the cynical lowdown on college life.
These seemed to be just so many loose threads until former Manhattan borough president Percy Sutton tied them together in late March 2008 on a local New York City show called Inside City Hall.
When asked about Obama by the show’s host, Dominic Carter, the octogenarian Sutton casually explained that he had been “introduced to [Obama] by a friend.” The friend's name was Dr. Khalid al-Mansour, and the introduction had taken place about 20 years prior.
According to Sutton, al-Mansour was “raising money” for Obama’s education and had asked him to "please write a letter in support of [Obama] ... a young man that has applied to Harvard."
Although Sutton did not specify a date, this would likely have been in 1988 when the twenty-six-year-old Obama was, in fact, applying to Harvard Law School. Sutton gladly obliged.
Sutton described al-Mansour as "the principal adviser to one of the world's richest men," Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. This was the same bin-Talal whose $10 million offer to help New York rebuild after 9/11 Mayor Rudy Giuliani rebuffed. In September 2001, Giuliani was in no mood to hear out “Israel knew” theories even from a benefactor.
Like his patron, Khalid al-Mansour was no friend of Israel. In one of his typical videotaped rants, “A Little on the History of Jews,” he scolded the world’s Ashkenazi Jews: “God gave you nothing. The children from Poland and Russia were promised nothing. But they are stealing the land the same as the Christians stole the lands from the Indians in America.”
If Obama had been a Republican, someone at the station would have rushed this tape to the networks before you could say “47 percent.”
When the Sutton interview finally did surface in the conservative media in August 2008, Ben Smith, then with Politico, reported, "Barack Obama's campaign is flatly denying a story told by former Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton.”
The Obama camp denied Obama even knew al Mansour. After some hemming and hawing, al Mansour rejected Sutton's account as well. “The scenario as it related to me did not happen,” he reportedly told Smith.
Still, there was no denying what Sutton had said or how unambiguously he said it. To make sure the story did not bleed from the right into the mainstream, someone recruited a character named Kevin Wardally, an alleged “spokesman for Sutton’s family.”
In an email Wardally gave Smith all the permission he needed to move on. “The information Mr. Percy Sutton imparted on March 25 in a NY1 News interview regarding his connection to Barack Obama is inaccurate,” wrote Wardally.
“As best as our family and the Chairman's closest friends can tell, Mr. Sutton, now 86 years of age, misspoke in describing certain details and events in that television interview.”
At the time, Sutton was eighty-seven, but no matter. Smith seemed eager to make the story go away. He was satisfied that Wardally’s statement seemed “to put the story to rest for good.”
Not quite. Veteran reporter Ken Timmerman kept digging. The Obama camp offered no help. Spokesman Ben LaBolt told Timmerman that Sutton’s tale was pure “fabrication.”
When asked which part was fabricated, LaBolt said “all of it.” Bolt elaborated, “Al Mansour doesn’t know Obama. And Sutton’s spokesman retracted the story.”
Timmerman contacted Sutton’s personal assistant Karen Malone and questioned her about Wardally. Malone had never heard of him.
After consulting Sutton’s son and daughter, Malone “confirmed that no one knew Kevin Wardally or had authorized him to speak on behalf of the family.” Timmerman then questioned Wardally himself, who now claimed a Sutton nephew had retained him.
Sutton would die a year later, but the story died a year before he did. No one in the major media thought it newsworthy that a respected black political figure claimed a whack job anti-Semite, backed by an ambitious Saudi billionaire, had been guiding and possibly financing candidate Obama’s career for the last twenty years, if not longer.
Sarah Palin’s failure to read the New York Times, now that was news!
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