Palin Questions Obama's Support Of Israel

(CBS)
From CBS News' Scott Conroy:

(BOWLING GREEN, OHIO) Over the course of her two months on the campaign trail, Sarah Palin has accused Barack Obama of "palling around with a terrorist," wanting to "wave the white flag of surrender to the terrorists" and has suggested that he doesn't want to win the wars the United States is fighting. At a rally here this afternoon, she upped the ante even further by wondering aloud whether the Democratic nominee really supports Israel in the way he has repeatedly affirmed he does.

Palin's impetus was a story published in the Los Angeles Times in April about a 2003 banquet, in which the then Illinois state senator spoke about his friendship with Rashid Khalidi, a former PLO spokesman and current Columbia University professor, who has a history of espousing views on Israel that many consider incendiary.

"And the twist here is that there's a videotape of a party for this person, back in 2003, a celebration of him, and Barack was there, and we know some very derogatory things were said there about Israel and America's support for that great nation," Palin said. "And among other things, Israel was described there as the perpetrator of terrorism instead of the victim."

Palin then insinuated that Obama might not support Israel in the way he says he does.

"What we don't know is how Barack Obama responded to these slurs on a country that he now professes to support," Palin said.

Over the chorus of loud boos from the crowd, Palin pointed out that the Los Angeles Times has refused to release the videotape of the banquet, which was explained in detail in the story that the newspaper published over six months ago.

"Maybe some politicians would love to have a pet newspaper of their very own," she said. "In this case, we have a newspaper willing to throw aside even the public's right to know in order to protect a candidate that its own editorial board has endorsed."

Palin, who majored in journalism in college, went on to mock the LA Times and question its integrity.

"And if there's a Pulitzer Prize category for excelling in kowtowing, then the LA Times, you're winning," she said.

After the controversy first started brewing on Tuesday, the newspaper issued a statement about its decision not to release the tape to the public.

"The Los Angeles Times did not publish the videotape because it was provided to us by a confidential source who did so on the condition that we not release it," Russ Stanton, the paper's editor, said. "The Times keeps its promises to sources."

Clearly, Palin was not satisfied with the newspaper's explanation that it is ethically required not to release the tape.

"It's not too late, and if there is an ounce of credibility there, if the newspaper wants to keep that shred of credibility, let alone its dignity, than I say the public has a right to know," Palin said. "Let's go to the videotape, LA Times."

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    Scott Conroy is a National Political Reporter for RealClearPolitics and a contributor for CBS News.