However, though this policy may be highly flawed or worse, Secretary Clinton’s words at the gala were not as much of a problem as her and the other dignitaries’ presence and/or participation, at the event – an event sponsored by a group with ties to the PLO.
The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) or as it was previously named, the American Committee on Jerusalem (ACJ), was incorporated in May 1995. Speaking at the group’s “inaugural public activity,” held in November 1995, was its then-President Rashid Khalidi.
Khalidi had previously been identified in news reports as “a PLO spokesman” and “a director of the Palestinian press agency, Wafa,” (Wikalat al-Anba al-Filastinija), which Khalidi himself has described as “the P.L.O’s news agency.”
Eight years later, at the time of the group’s name change in August 2003, ACJ Chairman Ziad Asali and ACJ President Rashid Khalidi respectively became ATFP President and ATFP Vice President.
Asali has remained President of the ATFP to this day. As such, he was the individual possessing the honor of greeting and introducing Secretary Clinton at the 2010 gala.
Also speaking at this year’s gala was Maen Rashid Areikat, the head of the PLO Mission based in Washington, DC and the Chief Representative of the PLO to the United States. Areikat’s speech consisted of his reading of a letter addressed to Asali and the gala attendees from Global President of the PLO [and the Palestinian Authority (PA)] Mahmoud Abbas.
No one could be surprised by Areikat’s involvement in this event, as he had done exactly the same at last year’s gala. Furthermore, no one could be surprised that Abbas would write a letter for this Gala, as a photo of Abbas along with a link to Abbas’s Presidential website – which contains the PLO logo atop it – is found on every page of the ATFP official website.
Certainly Secretary Clinton and all those other officials partaking in the ATFP event, including their handlers, would and should have known about most if not all of the above.
Yet these officials elected to participate in the event anyway – an event featuring the leaders of a U.S. recognized terrorist group and sponsored by an organization connected to that same terrorist group.
Maybe they can waiver the fact that they were there associating themselves with terrorists.
Or maybe those of us concerned will not allow them to forget.
Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Americans Against Hate and the spokesman for Young Zionists. He has been responsible for the closure of at least one terror-related charity and has convinced a number of government officials to shun the Hamas front group, CAIR. In June 2009, he won a lawsuit brought against him by seven Dallas-area radical Muslim organizations.
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